3,151 COMMENTS :

  1. By Owain Alexander on

    The League of Tripoli’s advantages in terms of naval vessels are quite obvious. The threat posed by destroyers, submarines, and cruisers is a serious threat, let alone battleships and possible carriers. They outweigh virtually everything the Alliance has afloat. In addition, Grand Alliance planes are a decade or more behind the League’s, and considering the effect only five enemy aircraft had on Allied air power, a straight-up fight is going to be tough. It’s obvious the Alliance is going to need to tip the scales any way they can, if/when they’re going to go up against the League. It may not be soon, but it’s something to prepare for.
    I believe a submarine service might be something for them to consider. Even a handful of submarines would be useful, for recon, delaying actions, spoiling attacks, and other operations. A few fish in a transport at the right time could cripple League war efforts. The Alliance has been wise enough to invest in air power and surface combatants, and they need every edge they can get, especially considering the submarines the League has. I’ve mentioned the use of subs on the discussion board before, but the tech base hasn’t exactly caught up, and there hasn’t been a pressing need for them until the last few books. Seeing more flush-deck destroyers being built might indicate the potential for at least a small submarine force to be constructed.
    It might even be possible for someone to come up with a “milk cow” submarine tender, like the German type XIV submarine, to maintain a force some ways out of Allied territory.
    I don’t know as much about submarine warfare as most on this site probably do, but I’ve heard of the significance of submarines in both world wars; a single wolf pack could make an impact on the war. It might only need to be four submarines at first, something like a type XIV and three fleet subs.
    The League might possess radar, and undoubtedly has some form of sonar and anti-submarine warfare, but to utterly ignore the advantages offered by some submarines seems foolhardy.

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    1. By William Curry on

      All the fancy ships, planes and subs don’t mean much unless support by a logistical tail and an industrial base. At this point it is not established what support the LOT has behind their weapon systems. As we have seen in “Devil’s Due” the Allies are developing a sophisticated industrial plant and a logistical tail to support their armed forces in extended combat.

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    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      I agree a submarine service would be an excellent way to counter the LOT’s superiority in surface combatants. Also a sub is cheaper, faster to build & requires less manpower & material resources than a BB or BC. However, they are technically quite demanding to get right. There’s a conversation in the movie Operation Petticoat where the sub commander asks the chief if the boat will submerge, & the reply is “She’ll go down like a rock, sir!”. The question no one was willing to ask was would she come back UP?
      They do have the remains of the S-19 to work from & a few submariners left & in 2-3 years they may be able to get something like the S-19 with some improvements, but a WW2 fleet boat? No. That said, even an improved S-19 type could be a nasty surprise to the LOT if they came after the allies. It’s a short range boat, but you could transport several of them in a floating dry dock to the DOM theater to raise hell, or they could round the Cape submerged to avoid the bad weather…maybe. They would need some sort of tender to operate from, say something like a Santy Cat copy. I’d say it would be worthwhile to get started on a sub program now, to be able to counter the LOT later.

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    3. By Alexey Shiro on

      //I believe a submarine service might be something for them to consider. Even a handful of submarines would be useful, for recon, delaying actions, spoiling attacks, and other operations.//

      The problem is, Allied tech level in far below average 1930s. And in therms of submarines they have virtually no experience besides some crewmember from S-19. The best that they could do for near future, is some sort of small coastal subs – something like old “Hollander”-class. And even this would require a lot of resources to be diverted. The major problem would be the batteries; they were considered pretty high-tech in 1930s, and most of production tech were quite secret.

      So, IMHO, the submarines wouldn’t be a cost-effective solution.

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      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        They could probably build an S-19 type, it would take a while, but you’re right about the batteries. Those would take time to get reliable & store enough power.

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    4. By donald j johnson on

      There is almost no possibility that the league has any form of radar they have been here five years that would put them in 1937 and radar was extremely experimental and not installed in any form of ship or aircraft so unless they developed it on their own after they got here they would not have it. As it was not considered reliable or even actually useful other than as a detector they may not have considered this necessary. Unless they have civilians on their side voluntarily with considerable technical knowledge they will not have the ability to a develop radar. The only reason the destroyermen have the ability was because of the rescue of Courtney from the Philippines since they were going his way and he joined them. As that was most likely not the case with the league it is extremely unlikely that they will have anybody not military unless the area that they got into had developed some tech already which is most likely unlikely.
      I need to stop rambling this is enough

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      1. By steve moore on

        The only who might possibly have any kind of radar under development would have been the Germans, and since they seem to be the technological leaders, I would guess the French and Italians are just whistling in the dark.

        Being an entirely combatant fleet (except maybe a corps of administrators to organize a defeated Egypt), I don’t think they have much of a civilian component. According to Fiedler, they’re pretty rough on the others they’ve encountered or conquered. They don’t have much cross-Atlantic contact; seems like they are mostly focused on conquering the Med and adjacent regions. Within the Med, they’ve got access to oil, coal, ores and just one choke point to defend, although I’d hazard a guess they have some colonies in West Africa, looking for inland ores and Nigerian oil.

        I wonder sometimes, what transfers have occured in the Med other than the LOT?

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    5. By Justin on

      As others have stated, WWI-era subs like S-19 require electric-diesel batteries to operate underwater without air. Which would require a LOT of R&D.

      They also need high-quality steel for either a pressurized or double hull in order to withstand water pressure – at the moment, Baalkpan can’t even figure out what kind of Amagi’s steel they need for boiler tubes!

      Until those problems are solved, Union subs aren’t going anywhere, and even once they do, we shouldn’t expect Doenitz’s U-Boats. Paradoxically, it’s probably easier for the Union to build a light battleship or heavy cruiser for convoy strikes; after all, a surface raider only needs to sink once.

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    6. By steve moore on

      As for subs, I’d start trolling for that Uboat. They probably don’t have the fuel to get home, and if they joined the Germans in the RRP, that’s be the closest they could get to being home. Start broadcasting in the clear (in German) offering to take them in. They haven’t committed any ‘war crimes’, and if you only have one U-boat, the Cape is the place to have it. They offered parole to the 200 or so Japanese survivors of Zanzibar…

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    1. By Justin on

      A damn sight better than my go at her. Not sure about the straight bow though, given that she’s supposed to be a larger Walker.

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      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Mea culpa. I forgot about that when I used my earlier (guesswork)version as the basis of the new CL. Officially, it’s easier to build a straight bow with an angled foot as opposed to a curved foot. :) Then I’ll sneak back & fix it!

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    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      AAAAIIGGHHH!!!!
      I have grievously sinned! I misspelled the chief’s last name!
      The only change to the file in DA & the Wiki is the name changed to GRAY in the title & on the ship.
      It’s always the details that get you!

      Reply
  2. By donald j johnson on

    I was thinking today about the cricket Rockets. The number that they have been firing at the aircraft and the amount of gunpowder they have been expending in battle. Where are they getting it yes and there are many ways of getting gunpowder but so far we haven’t run into any explosions because of Mishandling. So that means that they are probably making it in small batches. What are they using to make it. Are they using the scraping ship method or are they collecting guano from bats but it doesn’t really matter somehow they are getting all kinds of nitrates because they’re using hundreds of tons of gunpowder. They’re going to run out pretty quick I would suspect. what does everybody else think

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    1. By donald j johnson on

      Actually I suspect that Reddy’s team is also quickly using up whatever they’re using to make it with. And I hate spell check because it changed grik to Cricket as soon as I pressed the send button

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      1. By Justin on

        Rule #57 – NEVER post more than three lines of text on a phone.

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      2. By William Curry on

        The Allies are producing smokeless powder, so that are producing nitric acid and sulfuric acid. Nitric acid means that have an ammonia plant up and that implies they are making hydrogen from steam reforming.

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        1. By steve moore on

          Speaking of ammonia, I was just curious how PIG Cigarette Company collects brontosarry urine…

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          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            See there’s this guy with a raincoat & umbrella & a cart with a large barrel on it…
            Lots of job opportunities. Medical does NOT cover getting stepped or crapped on.

          2. By steve moore on

            Yeah, probably like working at the Bull Semen Company..

    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Er, they are much more primitive MG’s than what the Union already have.

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    2. By steve moore on

      Like Silva says, Gatling-style guns too complex, too heavy, too cumbersome.

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  3. By Matthieu on

    For those who want to see WW1 tanks and hardware (and BTW your president):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRxB4gjE014

    This is the official release without comment. Jump to 20.37. A lot of blabla
    – schneider tank at 22.32
    – Saint Chamont 24.35 (an operational failure as the tracks were too short)
    – the first pre-155mm “long tom” 26.50
    – a FT17 close to 30 something. See how small it is! And it was much more efficient than the large ones. Patton used one.
    – US forces at 45.35

    After it’s the usual show. Nothing special. Always the same order and units (for those who want I can comment but only if there is a demand for that so as not to pollute the place).

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    1. By steve moore on

      C’mon, the French usually put on a great parade. I guess if you see it every year, it gets stale but maybe the new guy will mix things up next year.

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    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      I liked the vehicle M’sieu Medals was riding in at the beginning, what was that? After 22:00 you get comparisons with new & old equipment (cool stuff), after 35:30 or so it’s back to the parade. I wonder if The Donald was complimented on how tight HIS ass was. Who were the bearded guys in the leather aprons with regular axes at 1:21:00? I got the firemen just before that with the axes, although who arms their firemen with FAMAS’s?

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      1. By Matthieu on

        Well, the parade is very traditional. If you watch the video you’ll see

        – introduction with some displays
        – all major military schools (for you West point),
        – the main regiments that saw action that year (a lot of regiments fight in Africa at various places + some in Irak/syria)

        To answer questions: the guys at 1.21.00 are the Pioneer section of the Foreign Legion. Per tradition this unit opens the path for the main troops and destroys fieldwork before an assault. As their job is highly dangerous they have special privileges such as not shaving (as they were not expected to last long). Nowadays they come from “bomb disposal squads”, “assault engineer platoons” and “assault engineers parachute platoons” (the ones jumping with 40kg of TNT on their back). The foreign legion has a huge advantage: nobody care when there are casualties as they exactly know what they come. If you want to see real fight it’s the place to go as they deploy all the time. Officially they don’t exist (they don’t use their real name and during the first contract they can’t have a car, can’t get married and so on).

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        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Thanks for the info Matthieu.
          Do you know what the significance of the leather aprons is?

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          1. By donald johnson on

            in ordnance work leather usually does not hold a charge so does not usually generate sparks due to friction if it is damp and as is non porous so can be used to hold gunpowder and other similar materials.
            in modern times there are better materials than when leather usage originated but it was the best material at the time. and do remember i said when damp. you do not want it dry. unless you are planning suicide.

          2. By Matthieu on

            As they are pioneers, they need to work with work (and powder) so , per tradition, they wear an apron to protect them.

            Another funny thing: the men at 50.47 belong to école polytechnique. This school, created 200 years ago was designed to train engineers. It’s the most competitive master level of science diploma in the country. They pass a very selective exam after two years of high level training after high school to enter. This exam is the most difficult in the country (really, think of a very high level Stanford+MIT+Harvard).

            They get paid once they enter in the school but they will have to remain civil servants or join the army 10 years (unless they pay back). It’s cost effective for the country as they are the best engineers available on the market.

            The flag bearer has a special privilege: he’s the best student in the school and is thus allowed … not to follow the cadence (the joke says that “as he’s too intelligent to follow!”).

            As they don’t like those from Saint Cyr (=West point) which was just behind them, they had a funny tradition: releasing in their path some traps for them (bananas, oil…). As a consequence the 2nd unit (52.22) is the military police officer’s school (Gendarmerie)… and they really don’t like those jokes.

            So the 3rd is Saint Cyr (53.00) Professionals officers. Uniform come from 1870.

            The 4th (54.00) is more interesting: new officers coming from rank (mustangs). Most of the time with a lot of experience (and medals) as they are all former NCOs.

            At 1.16 something strange for you: school of commissars. It means “high level managers in the police department”. There is a single police in the country (no state police, no local police nor anything like that save for parking tickets). All commissars (captains) come from a single school and are civil servants. They wear a belt as they bear one part of the authority of the republic (to wear it as a scarf you need to be elected).

            “I got the firemen just before that with the axes, although who arms their firemen with FAMAS’s?”

            In the country firemen are civilians save in Paris (where they are soldiers) and Marseilles (specialized in maritime firefighting). As they belong to the military they have weapons. The idea is to use Paris to train high level young men who can later become professionals in other cities.

            To become a fireman you have one exam twice a day, every single say: the board.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaVyezTE03w

            You need to be in full gear and climb on the board (the idea is that you can save yourself if you’re on a roof and you fall). If you can’t do it, you’re fired (too bad for a fireman).

          3. By donald j johnson on

            If the firemen in Perris are required to carry firearms I feel sorry for those terrorists Muslims thattry to set the fires

        2. By steve moore on

          Sounds like M. Macron wants to break up the party, though.

          Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Sounds good for clearing out large groups and fortifications. Enemy armour too, if the Union gets the hang of shaped charges.

      But first they need proper rifles – muskets and musket-rifles aren’t going to work, I don’t think. Perhaps a internal mag, while we’re at it?

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      1. By steve moore on

        Maybe something like the Japanese 50mm ‘knee’ mortar. WItgh a larger round size, easier for clawed hands to use. Surprised the Kurokawa Japanese haven’t developed this for the Grik, it’s not really high-tech (or long range), something the Grik could easily manufacture themselves and suited more to their in-close tactics. A replacement for their portable firebomb throwers.

        https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVvTHBW5ZECwAoC0nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=Japanese+50mm+Knee+Mortar&fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

        https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVvTHBW5ZECwAoC0nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=Japanese+50mm+Knee+Mortar&fr=yhs-mozilla-004&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-004

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  4. By steve moore on

    Speaking of ‘volunteers’, imagine the immense amount of products of the Allied war effort descending on Europe, as well as the imagination of the German secret weapon development, including all the Uboats that just disappeared. We’ve speculated before about transfers of US subs that just disappeared; could make for some imaginative transfers in that neck of the woods.

    Ditto for the immense weight of metal in Soviet Army formations; perhaps an anti-fascist threat to the LOT? First things they would want to secure would probably be Romania & oil, then the Ruhr & Silesia for coal.

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  5. By Justin on

    Say, the League “volunteers” may have left Berettas or Schmeissers lying around Savoie… would a wooden MP38 be a step up from the M1 Blitzer Bug, or a step down?

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    1. By Clifton Sutherland on

      I think in terms of production, the blitzer is really going to be the best bang for the buck. I’m not nearly as knowledgeable about guns as a lot of guys are here, but I would imagine that complicated machine pistols would be an unnessesary waste of resources, as they are only fighting the Grik and Doms atm, so parity in modern automatic weapons is not quite a concern. Although, they may be able to copy the internal components to create improved variants of the blitzer? Somebody tech me out here.

      Reply
  6. By Steve Moore on

    You know, now they have a Ju52, it got me thinking…
    Baalkpaan is good at building lightweight aircraft.
    Mi=Anaaka are smaller, yet as strong as humans.
    Why not try building a few DFS type gliders for use by Chack’s Raiders?

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      1) Multiple gliders would require multiple tow planes; maybe later, once the Union gets another Junkers or three.

      2) Even then, gliders are useless in jungle terrain, so no-go against the Grik or Dommies. Might work against the League, depending on whether the Sahara is desert or grassland right now.

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      1. By donald j johnson on

        I wonder if a sea plane glider is practical to be towed by a larger seaplane then you would have more places to land near the shore in some cases. However I suspect is not practical

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        1. By steve moore on

          don’t think you could get the speed to develop the lift needed to get the glider up on the step and then airborne.

          Although the Allies did use some gliders in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, nice t have a clearing at least to set down in. And I was thinking only of a few gliders, sort of like the Grik foghorn trick Alden only had one go at.

          Probably some nice weather to go soaring over the Empire’s California colonies, though

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          1. By Charles Simpson on

            They used the Grik Horn trick on Halik and it is possible that Kurokawa did not know of it, nor did Halick have communications with General Esshk after it was used. Thus it is quite possible that if they capture horns and Grik who know the signals they can use the trick once agains General Esshk.

          2. By donald j johnson on

            I was thinking more of a glider landing on the ocean with a take off from land after all the sea planes can take off from Land as well as the ocean and if the glider is a seaplane it can land on either the land or the ocean which would give them more places to land including lakes and rivers

          3. By Justin on

            Problem there is that once again, they’ve only got one land transport. They’ll need to find more Ju 52s to pull that one off.

  7. By Lou Schirmer on

    Now they have the Ju-52 to look at, I’d say the next gen power plant for the Union AF will probably be a copy of the BMW 132, which is an improved copy of the Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet. Plus they have the superchargers to copy as well, which are probably simpler than the ones on the P-40s & be easier to produce.

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    1. By donald j johnson on

      They probably also have a crashed copy of the mochi-mecherschmit after capturing Zanzibar

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      1. By Steve Moore on

        Not to mention the ground crew and probably a few spares. Manuals are probably all in Italian or Spanish; but since they’re also metric, might be a good idea to ring the RRP in.

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      2. By steve moore on

        Now there’s a new Silvaism… the Mochamess!

        Reply
    2. By Justin on

      Wooden airframe, closed cockpit, just over 500 hp and a supercharger… should be possible to get something like an improved Caudron C.714, which had a proven combat record against superior 109s and 110s.

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    1. By Matt on

      So the fuselage of the MC.202 with the wings of the 109? I was thinking in a similar way except the fuselage being more 109 with a distinctly Italian nose and cowling. Maybe unequal length wings like the real Castoldi designs since the Italians weren’t keen on trimming out roll from the engine’s torque.

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      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        The reason I went with more of a C202 fuselage, was Lt. Saansa reporting the pilot as being “way back”. That sounded more 202 than 109. The fuselage is slightly longer than the 202 due to the 109 tail, although I did lower the horizontal stabilizer & cantilever it. It also makes it less short coupled, with more authority for the elevators & rudder. Another way to counter the torque in-flight besides unequal length wings, would be adding dihedral to the wing the torque rolls the plane towards.

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        1. By donald j johnson on

          The only thing I see is funny is that it has the meatball of Japan instead of the markings from the league are the markings of kurokawa aircraft team which were not meatballs but modified meatballs if my memory serves me correct

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          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            I thought the modified meatball was for the Grik & Kurokawa’s Japs used the standard one.
            On page 143 the fighter just has a red ball painted over something else, so maybe they were just in a hurry with the Italian fighters.

      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Nice, I think the meat balls would also be on the wing, perhaps with the fachies bleeding through.

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      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        Thanks to both of you.
        You’d think the meatballs would be on the wings also, but das book said they were just on the sides. Maybe because they were only there on a temp basis? Or to clearly state they were NOT the normal run of Jap/Grik.

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    2. By Steve Moore on

      Assuming there seems to be some kind of fascist/anti-fascist struggle in the CES, would that possibly have involved some version of the Spanish Civil War? Wonder if the LOT (not the CES) would try to build something like the I-16 with their limited resources? Just thinking.

      Would a triple bank of Union radials work? Or be too heavy for an airframe? Lou?

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      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Do you mean three radials on an airframe? Sure, no problem as long as it’s designed for it.

        Do you mean a three row radial? Pratt & Whitney made a four row radial near the end of WW2 that did well until jets took over. However, while doable, it’s not really worth it until they get the bugs worked out of the 10 cylinder two row radial & get it uprated to a reasonable HP rating. The current engine has been uprated to 365 HP, but that is still only a 40% increase in power for a 90% increase in weight & 100% increase in fuel burn. Until they get the engine uprated by 75-80% over the original 5 cylinder rating this engine is actually reducing the range of any aircraft it’s installed in & (should be) producing negligible performance increases. They’re already pushing the performance envelope to the limit with open cockpits & fixed gear producing enormous drag & the fixed pitch propellers cutting into the envelope somewhere, depending on what type of pitch they’re using. Given the speed versus they installed HP, they’re using a “speed” propeller, a deep pitch blade optimized for high speed flight. That cuts into the planes takeoff & climb performance though, so it’s a trade off.

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        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Don’t get me wrong, in it’s current uprated version the 10 cylinder radial is a worthwhile engine & will progressively uprate until it becomes a “mature” technology. It’s the initial version I had issues with.

          The P-1Cs would also benefit from an enclosed cockpit & a variable pitch propeller. And before someone says that’s beyond their capability, I’m not talking pressurized, just enclosed, you know, a frame, some panes of glass, a hinge & a latch. It’s not rocket science. Simply enclosing the cockpit would be the equivalent of adding up to 50 HP to the engine at top speed. The same with a variable pitch assembly, I’m not talking constant speed, they ARE complex, but a manual variable speed prop can be fairly simple & increase the P-1Cs performance. I did a rough schematic of one on Deviant Art. Been thinking of a small modification to simplify it further.

          Lighter & more maneuverable aircraft can compete with technically superior fighters in combat. The Brewster Buffalo did quite well in Finland. The Italian Fiat CR.42 biplane did well against the Hurricanes & Spitfires at Malta.

          en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_CR.42

          There are many similar examples, so they are not totally outclassed if/when the LOT shows back up.

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          1. By Steve Moore on

            Thanks, Professor Lou! Just a crazy idea. And as for lightweight planes, let’s not forget the Zero…

      1. By donald j johnson on

        Yes I checked. It was a very funny looling originally and it looked funny.

        Reply
        1. By Clifton Sutherland on

          after taht, I hope that man had some brothers, otherwise his family line ends with him! Ouch!

          Reply
  8. By Steve Moore on

    Well, that was an exciting week. SS Hard Drive decided to take a plunge for the depths, taking with it unfinished manuscripts, work files, and the products of 8 years of unhinged expository and accumulation. Did manage to save most of it eventually, but now moving to tablet and desktop. Backup in place as well, should have done that first thing.

    Still think the RRP should jump a generation or two of tech advancement and start building modern stuff.

    Reply
    1. By donald johnson on

      That is why I use SSD hard drives. I have wanted them since I read “The adolescence of P1”. My next suggestion is to get a few of the 128 gig thumb drives that are available. ALL your work should fit on one unless you type a lot faster than I can read. my biggest manuscript has been only 116 MB so far with lots of pics in it.

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      1. By steve moore on

        Thanks, Donald. If I can salvage the rest of the laptop, I’ll do that. Have a 1TB external that I loaded everything onto, but looking at cloud storage as well.

        Manuscripts aren’t even that yet, still a few gaps needing development. No pics. But a lot more fun than writing insurance policy forms and technical articles. May need Matthieu’s help when it comes to writing about Frenchmen in outer space, though…

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        1. By donald j johnson on

          Hmmm sounds like fun. Wonder if he is rooting for the league.
          What ya gonna name it “Invasion of the frogs”

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          1. By Steve Moore on

            Hey, lay off the amphibian jokes. Got cousins in la belle France

        2. By Matt on

          Always have redundant backup solutions for critical data. I work IT as my day job and I can’t tell you the horror stories of individuals and businesses that cut corners either our of laziness/ignorance or just to save a buck.

          A pose friend of mine is an attorney with his own independent firm. He thought that relying on Google drive would be good enough for their data. I told him he needed to have a fallback incase it failed. Well one morning he awoke to find that Google drive had synced with an empty folder on his computer and had erased everything. Fortunately his partner had his laptop off that night so it didn’t overwrite the copy there. They were able to unplug his router before turning it on and copied everything to a flash drive before Google drive overwrite that on as well and repopulated the drive. After that close call he took my advice and bought a NAS and backs up to that as well.

          So much of our lives is digital now that you can’t afford not to have redundant backups. Just one mistake or freak failure can ruin years of work. My recommendation as an IT professional is to get the cloud storage, but also get the home NAS. The box is cheap, the hard drives are the more expensive part but get the capacity you need and set it up in Raid to prevent the failure of one drive from dooming the whole store. I’d also burn the data to DVDs annually or semiannually and put them in your safe. That way you have some form of hardened long term storage for even the biggest of disasters. Also is your safe fire proof? If you are like me you store your really important paperwork there, birth certificates, SSN cards, deed to the house, car titles, and those DVD backups of your life’s work. If it isn’t fireproof then it’s false security.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Haven’t got much past the cloud and the separate hard drive. I will take that under advisement.

            No safe yet either, that’s a good idea. Got one for the pistols, maybe one for the DVDs. Just hope I don’t try to shoot a home invader with “Collected Manuscripts, 2008-2012″… don’t think a double click would do much.

      2. By steve moore on

        My IT guy suggested using the SSD for backup and a regular mechanical drive for day-to-day drivel. Going to try that and also have thumb drives. I move around a bit too much to do the backup server kind of thing. Semi-retirement home is going to have 4 wheels.

        Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          For reals is too small for a retirement home it’s got to have at least 10, 8 in the back into drive Wheels. How else you going to haul your three inch Rifle

          Reply
          1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Don’t need THAT many wheels, Don. Four pulls four (under the flatbed trailer!) And have you ever tried to FEED a deuce and a half?

          2. By donald j johnson on

            I was thinking more of a bus than a deuce and a half

          3. By steve moore on

            Tent, cot and screen house is all I need. A lot of prior camping was done on the AT, where you carry everything on your back.

            That and a long enough roofline to carry 4 HVATA missiles (High Velocity Anti Traffic A**hole), since I have to penetrate New York and Massachusetts on any expeditions. But thanks for the thought, Don.

          4. By donald johnson on

            Well i suppose 4 HVATA missiles are lighter than a 3 inch rifle but where do you carry the reloads

          5. By steve moore on

            Don, by the fourth one, the rest get the message. Pour encourager les autres.

    2. By David DuBois on

      I know this is probably overkill for most people but I have a 16tb server on a Raid 1 setup, so each drive is mirrored to a second drive, there are actually 32tb worth of drives in that thing. That entire setup also has a tape back up, and the tapes are stored in a fire safe. There are 6 computers in my home, not counting the server, and each of them backs up to the server every night at midnight. Having spent a life time in the publishing business, I know that drives are going to fail, at the worst possible moment, sure as death and taxes.

      Reply
  9. By Matthieu on

    Logistics….

    Right now the alliance has a problem: they are at the end of their logistical tail. At the same time the league is also unable to support a war in the indian ocean. As such there is no reason for them, really, to begin a war: they just don’t have the capacity of harming each other. The would need an immense quantity of shipping… that they don’t have.

    Now let’s try to be creative: how can you use them? Well, maybe they will have to ally to fight an even more dangerous enemy. This one can’t come from Africa (Griks are there). So it will come from northern Europe / Asia. Save a new and very dangerous enemy, why would they ally?

    —————————————————–

    About Texans… what about slavery? I don’t say that they have slaves (maybe there were just no black people aboard the ship) but they can accept it. Let’s see…

    ———————————————–

    About manpower (or lemurianpower): the alliance has to be intelligent (a little bit like Britain in 44-15): they just don’t have the manpower so they need to use proxies (grik allies) and to preserve men. It means that they need to run naval battles and limited attacks. Using all your manpower in a high risk operation is far too risky when you when replace it.

    So what’s an intelligent strategy? Well… evacuate Grik city!

    It’s the obvious target. Far too many griks are going to attack it. What will the attack look like?

    Grik plan:
    1/ use galleys to cross the channel and use those galleys to move supplies (shells, artillery, food). Without those galleys there is just no way for them to support an army on Madagascar. It’s what the alliance can hope: with galleys griks have supplies for one and only one battle… so if they land, targeting their ships is a good idea as it prevents supply runs (UK planned to do the same thing in 40).
    2/ select 3 possibilities
    – along the coast – cross – go up in Madagascar: short crossing, protected during the first leg, need to carry supplies
    –> the alliance can day after day shoot at their galleys at Madagascar

    – along the coast – along the coast cross

    – cross -go up in Madagascar – go up in Madagascar

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      //About Texans… what about slavery? I don’t say that they have slaves (maybe there were just no black people aboard the ship) but they can accept it. Let’s see…//

      Matthieu, in “Straits of Hell” it was specifically stated that there is no slavery in New United States (albeit it is possible that there are first-class and second-class citizens, thought).

      Reply
      1. By Matthieu on

        Sure, no “slavery”. And there were only first class black citizens in 1920 in Alabama. You get he idea :p

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, of course this is mentality to consider… :) But, when the majority of the new nations was composed of ex-Dom native americans, it’s pretty hard for white minority to establish effective appartheid. Especially considering that there were zro white womens in initial population.

          Also, NUS seems to be in near-perpetual “cold war” state with Dominion. And such state, actually, could help a lot to overcome the internal barriers. After all, when survival of nation is on the stake…

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            //Especially considering that there were zro white womens in initial population.//

            How do we know this? They came over by ship transfer, if it was a civilian passenger ship, there should have been a number of women aboard. Even military vessels of the time often had women aboard either as emergency passengers, “disguised” crew or whores. USS Walker shouldn’t have had women aboard either, but that added to the story.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er, it was stated that they came as military convoy from US-Mexican war. I really doubt that there were a lot of womens on small coastal steamers of this era…

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Not a lot, but some, officers wives & their servants & maybe some camp followers. Granted that’s not enough to sustain or grow a population unless things got ugly. So they’d definitely be poaching ladies from the Doms. There may have been a significant population locally who had escaped the Doms.

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            Again; it was stated that they evacuated at least a portion of locals, that supported them against the Dom’s rule.

            P.S. Still, something isn’t right here… The Dom’s depopulated & left the Mexico Valley AFTER they sucsessfully forced the 1840s americanst to retreat. Religion or no religion, but this simply isn’t practical (and the majority of Dom’s upper priests seems cynical enough to left zeal for their minions).

            So… what could happens here, in Mexico Valley, that Dom’s decided to leave this region for good? What were they afraid of? Let’s not forget, that NUS representatives mentioned “problems, that still… pending”. I.e. there is something, in North America, they they are clearly worried about. And, if I’m not mistaken, we have some mysterious radio source somewhere, that isn’t affilated with Union, Japanese or League…

          5. By Lou Schirmer on

            The Phoenicians explored far & wide in their day. Some say they even made it to the Americas. Maybe an expedition got transferred back when & has been growing, spreading & getting more sophisticated to the north of the New US. If they’ve been here for a few thousand years, they could be well established, very advanced & keeping tabs on all these “newcomers”. They may even have spread BACK to the Northern European area. They could be the guys giving the LOT fits.

          6. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, if we assume that mysterious radio source and “pending” problem of NUS are the one entity, then:

            * They were here at least since 1840s

            * Dom’s were clearly afraid of them enough to abandon Mexico valley immediately after war with NUS – and never repopulate said region for more than a hundred years.

            * NUS clearly considered them a problem, that they are unable to sovle (and seems that they didn’t even like to mention its existence), but not an immediate threat. They are afraid of Dom’s much more.

            So, we have some relatively old, highly-developed, but apparently non-expansionistic power. They didn’t took over Valley of Mexico, and NUS clearly considered threat of them as pretty low (but they clearly unable to do anything about that)

            Seems like some high-tech transfer, but with little manpower/resource base.

          7. By Matt on

            Not necessarily a high tech transfer, but indigenous high tech. As in they have been there long enough and are well established enough to have grown their technology independently. There are several possible groups who it could be going off of our history. Could be scandanvians, we know they did travel to America. Could be French fur traders. Perhaps the Roanoke colony? Maybe even Russian fishermen from Alaska.

            I actually like the idea of the Roanoke colony. Would explain how they got so well established, unlike most transfers they wouldn’t have population issues which would allow them to grow with much less trouble than most of the other transfers.

          8. By Alexey Shiro on

            Doubt that. The ingenious civilization, such developed, would already took control over all North America.

          9. By donald johnson on

            Has anyone considered the french traders from Montreal? they were not trying to take over the Indians and just were trading with them but they took no shit from anyone. If you attacked them the fought back hard and would look for allies with your enemy’s. They first arrived in the very early 1600’s so could have a potential 200 year head start by the time the NUS arrived.

          10. By Justin on

            Ah, but early Quebecois/Acadians wouldn’t have had steam power. I can’t see them threatening the NUS without it.

            They’d have to have something big… maybe from a timeline where France owns the East Coast?

          11. By donald johnson on

            steam power at sea yes but steam power on land is not the same. they would not need steam on land to be a big hindrance, just big guns. and with the doms out there that is all they would need to be to slow them down and be a distraction.

          12. By Steve White on

            Had a discussion on the initial population of the NUS a few months back. The original cohort came over on a military transport ship, likely a sailing ship as steamers weren’t too plentiful in 1849-50. I estimate a battalion with small arms, gear, supplies, and clothing. There was also the ship’s crew (perhaps 50 to 80 sailors and officers), and yes, perhaps a few women.

            In the bug-out from Mexico City, Taylor makes clear that a fair bit of the indigenous population went with the new Americans. That becomes important as it sets the initial population size of the NUS. The Americans and population move north of the Rio Grande and then get busy building a nation and populating the northern rim of the Gulf of Mexico, plus Cuba and a few other Caribbean islands.

            Here’s why the population matters: assuming no wide-spread natural disaster, disease, or debilitating war, and given the state of medical knowledge and sanitation then, and given the lack of birth control, the population doubles roughly every 20 years. If 10,000 people total found the NUS (500 soldiers, 80 sailors, 20 American women, and 9,400 indigenous people, all relatively young and evenly balanced to both sexes), we get this:

            1850 10,000
            1870 20,000
            1890 40,000
            1910 80,000
            1930 160,000
            1940 240,000

            That number in 1940 clearly is low for what Taylor describes the NUS as being capable of doing, and settling.

            Of course there could have been more transfers from another timeline but that wouldn’t budge things all that much. The birth rate could also be higher such that the population would double more quickly. More likely there are continued defections and migrations from the Dominion that add to the population of the NUS.

            Also note that, as said elsewhere, the Americans are substantially outnumbered at the beginning of this. Subsequent generations are much more brown-skinned and Dominion-like in physical appearance, and so there has to be some remarkable education at the very beginning if the population “acts” more like Americans than like rebel Doms freed from the yoke of the south.

            So I await to read more about the NUS.

          13. By Justin on

            While there might not be anything resembling apartheid or Jim Crow laws, I wouldn’t be surprised to find that officers come from an educated upper class fixated on “American values” and “President’s English…” while some ratings have more of a Tex-Mex culture and speak creole “Inglés.”

          14. By donald j johnson on

            I suspect that you will have to raise the size of the ship’s crew by several hundred percent as most sailing vessels had between 100 and 200 workers in the in the sail crew and probably another 100 to 200 on the gun crew because both had to ne manned in battle. After that you have to consider the size of the soldiers crew. I would not be surprised if there were more than a thousand on the ship especially if it was only a short run to where they were supposed to go before landing

          15. By Lou Schirmer on

            //I suspect that you will have to raise the size of the ship’s crew by several hundred percent as most sailing vessels had between 100 and 200 workers in the in the sail crew and probably another 100 to 200 on the gun crew because both had to ne manned in battle.//

            While true for a fighting ship, a transport would have fewer sail handlers & far fewer gun crews. Most civilian ships had as few sail handlers as possible & they doubled as gun crews, if they had any. The way they’d handle sails is set or take in one, then go to the next & repeat. Trimming the sails would be the same way. Sometimes the crews were ridiculously miniscule. A military transport would have a larger percentage, but still need a lot less than a full fighting ship.

        2. By donald johnson on

          My gut feel about slavery is that if their were any blacks with the NUS forces when they came over is that they would have been freed for bravery while fighting the doms on the way to or in the retreat from mexico city in the begining. The NUS would have realized very early in their fight that they did not need potential enemy’s in their midst.

          Reply
          1. By Clifton Sutherland on

            On the Dom abandoning Mexico valley, I always assumed it was because they had such a difficult time defeating the NUS in their first war, they didnt want to risk having territory so close to a powerful enemy. Maybe they just forcibly relocated the populace, rather than killing everyone, and shifted the center of power south. For all we know, they only had just arrived there, and it was basically a hostile, dangerous frontier full of nasty critters and bad weather. A bunch of ornery and deadly americans made the real estate value plummet?

          2. By donald johnson on

            Yes, That is why the DOM’s abandoned the valley but the NUS on the other hand left it so they would not be so close to a very strong enemy. They took as many of the inhabitants as they could protect and that wanted to go with them. Any slaves that were originally with them were freed so they would not have to fight them later. Those that were from the valley were not enslaved as that would make it hard to get their cooperation wherever they ended up.

          3. By Matt on

            Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I always assumed the Doms did what they did on the border because 1: they wanted a dangerous and relatively inhospitable buffer between them and the more advanced NUS and 2: by having a physical separation it prevented NUS propaganda and “heresy” from spreading into the populace. Makes sense from their point of view.

          4. By donald johnson on

            Most likely those who stayed were killed because of contamination (heresy) and their need as you mentioned for a land buffer.

          5. By Justin on

            Sounds about right – one hell of a No Man’s Land, to say the least.

          6. By Clifton Sutherland on

            If you think about it, mexico has the trappings for some amazing stories if Taylor (or fan fic) ever gets around to writing some set there.

            A cold war between the Doms and NUS, a lawless wasteland inhabited with bandits, deserters, and other western archetypes, while dinosaurs roam around deserted Dom temple cities…

            oooh, I might have to go start some brainstorming!

    2. By donald johnson on

      remember, it will take a day and a half to cross the narrowest portion of the straits. figure 7-10 knots for either sail or rowing and 400 miles. Figure 500 grik per boat at a minimum but possibly less if they get smart and want so make us work harder, so figure on 2000 galleys that we have to find and sink.
      A few carriers will be placed nearer to Madagascar than to Africa to catch them in the morning on the first morning as they will leave coast of africa at dusk so we will not see them leaving. The p-1’s are perfect for this as they can use the carriers to rearm and refuel. They will need sole kind of explosive ammunition or very light bombs. 20 lbs would be overkill most likely in a galley with no decks made fast and cheep. Napalm would also be good as a near miss could spread onto the galleys.

      Reply
    3. By Steve Moore on

      Maroons and Sher-Rees were promised not to be abandoned. Keep the troops within the Grik City perimeter, let the Sherr-Ees, Maroons and assorted wildlife pick them off (teach them to pick off officers first, even if they’re not as ‘enlightened’ as Halik’s crew). Worked for every army so far; then you go after the senior NCO’s.

      That reminds me, why hasn’t Alden set up units of scout-snipers? With Griks becoming soldiers, led by leaders, instead of a mob, time to start lopping off the heads. Halik almost lost Niwa that way.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Bekiaa was able to do what she did because the Battle of Lake Flynn had devolved into trench warfare – while Alden could try company sharpshooters, regular scout snipers probably won’t last long on their own against charging Grik or Dommies.

        She was also off on her own because she wanted to let off some steam. I don’t think anybody in the Union (save for Silva, Chack and the usual suspects) has thought past regimental tactics yet.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          Yeah scout snipers probably wouldn’t be super effective yet. Maybe as time goes on they would be invaluable. An interesting observation is that the “new model” Grik soldiers have a hard time doing anything without direct orders. They lack individual initiative. They are certainly capable of cunning as Halik and Esshk have shown but they are both much older than the rank and file soldiers. If they instituted a program of squad DMRs and company sharpshooters they could could really wreck the effectiveness of Esshk’s army. Equip them with match grade allin-silvas or even in some cases Springfield’s or Krags and let em go at it.

          Speaking of which, now that we are mass producing MGs, 1911s, and SMGs, has any work started on making Springfield’s? No reason to not jump past the Krag. It isn’t much easier, if easier at all to make than a 1903 and it’s shortcomings are well understood.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Telescopic sights, too – give the Imperial glassmakers something to work on.

          2. By steve moore on

            Right, Justin, I thought about that; even though Lemurians have great eyesight, they still seem to go crazy over Imperial optics. Say, there’s the people to help out with building a fire control mechanism for the SS Savoy Stomp…

          3. By Justin on

            Most definitely they should put New London to work on Savoie’s new gun directors.

            That is, as long as the New Royal Observatory doesn’t suddenly lose all their telescope lenses at once. Stand a fighting chance against the Grik and League, or discover Pluto? Decisions, decisions…

          4. By Matt on

            Telescopic gunsight would be nice but may honestly be a hindrance at first. Those took a long time, mostly trial and error to work out. Early scopes were very finicky, easy to lose zero, would fog up in humid conditions and generally fragile not holding up to military use well. I’ve had the opportunity to handle scopes from around the turn of the century and they aren’t much to boast about. They are large, flimsy and have poor external adjustments that amount to little more than screws pushing the tube around.

            When we think of scopes something like a modern Leupold comes toind it remember they were post war and introduced a lot of innovative features we take for granted. The Germans had some nice scopes in WW2 but they also had the best optics industry and the best WW2 ZF performs worse than a Walmart scope from today. The Russian PU scope was brilliant in its simplicity and ruggedness but also is low power so it didn’t really open up the full potential of a high powered rifle.

            I think it’s certainly something worth developing but I doubt they will have anything truly combat ready for awhile.

          5. By donald johnson on

            a simple rifle scope of even 2 or 3 to one has the advantage of not needing to align the front and back sighting points on the rifle. inherently much more accurate

          6. By Matt on

            That still doesn’t solve the myriad of other problems such a scope would have.

            1: poor seals, it’s not like these are going to be nitrogen purged so swings in temp and humidity means fogged glass and there’s not a lot the rifleman can do about it.

            2: poor coatings means the glass will scratch easy as well have issues with glare and bloom.

            3: external adjustments. They just plain stink. Get loose easy. Not all that precise and also easily knocked out of zero.

            4: fragile. Modern scopes are pretty tough and can survive drops without any real damage to performance and hold zero. Old optics have to be babied. In WW1 snipers actually kept the scopes off their rifles when out of use which meant they had a hell of a time keeping scope zero.

            I’m sure there are other drawbacks I’m missing off the top of my head. I recommend you look up forgotten weapons on YouTube. Ian has a great episode going over WW1 vintage M1903 sniper rifles and the issues with the scopes. Long story short, they weren’t worth much. They worked ok at the range but weren’t ready for combat.

      2. By Matthieu on

        “Maroons and Sher-Rees were promised not to be abandoned.”

        It does not mean that you need to hold grik city. you can turn it into a gigantic trap. For example you can poison wells and/or destroy all supplies while making griks deploy. Once they deploy (as they are intelligent, they will get enough numbers), you retreat and make them waste time. They have a lot of punch but they are weak on the long run. You can even let them come while you’re destroying their industry.

        Better: they are intelligent so you can use your own griks to make them change side…

        Reply
    4. By Steve Moore on

      Speaking to logistics (my second favorite topic, next to fin-stabilized rockets), this just leads me to suggest that the logistics be linked to the impressive existing industrial capacity of the RRP. The Fil-Pin lands were quickly converted to a powerhouse, Indiaa will be catching up soon, so why not start bringing the RRP into it. Mallory and Reddy started the Fil-Pin on a ‘license building’ approach with Alliance plans, why not the RRP> And it would be a home for the captured Japanese.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        I wonder… could spin – stabilized rockets be used in sort of UP-like “aerial minefield”, if provided with proximity fuze? Granted, the Union could not possibly recreate VT-fuze, but simpler, infra-red fuse (bolometer-based) could be just within their capabilities – and its much simpler to create fuze for rocket, than for shell.

        So, sort-of UP salvo rocket defense with parachuting mines – but witted with downward-pointed IR-fuzes (downward, to avoid sun cluttering). Prrobably wouldn’t be effective against modern 1940s planes, but against League’s 1930s – may workk good enough.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          a way to break up linked Grik zeps, that’s for sure. And stand off as well if you’re using in a HVAR role. A long way from seeing massed foormations of LOT aircraft, but something to think about in a ground attack role as well for daisycutter bombs

          Reply
  10. By Justin on

    There was mention of a monoplane currently in-development to replace the Cantet.

    Are we looking at an Fw 56, or closer to a Junkers A35, or an Arado 96? Or is this all wishful thinking and they’ll probably end up designing an Eindecker?

    Reply
    1. By Matt on

      If they get technical help from the union then we are probably looking at something along those lines. At least performance wise.

      Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Move all the tooling down from Zanzibar, along with some of the Japanese, and start building 2-engine attack bombers. There are stockpiled engines, probably some unassembled planes.

      They need to jump to 1944 tech immediately. Give them a few up-rated Fleashooters to train on while they’re building their own fighters

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        They need to get the Japanese help without undue coercion. By offering them a job and the opportunity to freely help and the opportunity to meet women they just may offer to join.
        You need to also allow them to meet those that have already come over and show them that some have very high levels of opportunity and command. By getting them the chance to offer themselves instead of offering them a job is better for the Japanese psyche. There should be no threat of punishment other than banishment for not offering.

        Reply
      2. By Alexey Shiro on

        //They need to jump to 1944 tech immediately. //

        I’m afraid, it’s fat outside their capabilities.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          I think what he meant was the Union’s 1944 tech. Not our 1944 tech.

          Reply
        2. By Steve Moore on

          They have built Derby breechloaders. And the Mi-Anaaka accomplished what they have in 30months. Imagine what the RRP could do with Allied or Japanese help. If Muriname comes in on the side of the Griks with his 2-engine bombers, Cantets aren’t going to be much good. Except for target practice.

          Reply
          1. By Duke Saxon on

            The Republic already has breachloading rifles and production for them, along with a superb mg. That’s what the 11mm Mauser is (and the 7.92mm MG08 and reproductions thereof for the mg). Heck, I get the impression that their pistol production is further along as well, seeing how the Union only comparatively recently started to produce the 1911 copies, and the Republic seems to have plenty of 11mm (shorter cartridge) revolvers to go around.

            If the Republic pistol is similar to the Gasser 1870 from Austria, it may have been derived from a cavalry carbine, which would mean the Republic has or had production of those as well.

          2. By Matt on

            Isn’t it odd that they were able to copy the maxim and get working 7.92 ammunition but didn’t copy the Mauser 98? Seems that would be easier to make than a machine gun and it’s not like Amerika didn’t have a few in the armory onboard they could copy.

          3. By Charles Simpson on

            Black powder is easier to produce so both the revolver and single shot rifle use the black powder cartridge. It is mentioned the MS are fairly new. Slower larger Blackpowder rounds are better for the mega fauna of Africa than the smaller MG rounds.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            One thing they may want to look at is putting a magazine of some type under that single shot rifle. Save fumbling for cartridges after every shot.

          5. By Justin on

            A Mauser-shaped SMLE? Sounds like a plan.

    3. By Justin on

      Mr. Anderson’s said that any Union consultants will be coming in after the Imperator-class linienschiff are finished.

      Assuming the same thing goes with the fighters, and German tech is still stuck in the Twenties… I’d guess an incremental step-up from a biplane, like a parasol wing. Or would their engines be powerful enough to support a Junkers J2?

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        The J2 was extremely advanced for its time and we still have the issue of no aluminum. Seems the J2 was steel skinned so that shouldn’t be too big of a problem assuming that they can work out rolling sheet steel that thin. The frame was steel tube so again, doable. The real problem with making aircraft out of steel is that due to its weight it doesn’t scale to larger airframes well. You are limited to small aircraft so they aren’t overweight.

        Luckily the Union and likely the Republic are going to keep up the trend of smaller aircraft at least for the time being. So maybe it will work?

        As for the wooden concepts like the mosquito that also requires a fair bit of RnD and isn’t simply gluing bits of wood together. The Germans tried their own wooden designs with some disastrous results. Turns out it’s hard to make glue that holds up to those forces and the large heat gradients aircraft have.

        In other words a lot of research and development work will need to be done. We haven’t heard much about what they are cooking up back home aside from the better marks of PB.

        Another thing to keep in mind is that the Union is blessed with having an actual aeronautical engineer. The Republic doesn’t. I think it’s impressive that they were able to develop a working aircraft all on their own without anyone formally trained in doing so. Not quite as impressive as the Wright bro’s feat of being the first, at least the republic knew it could be done. But impressive nonetheless.

        Reply
  11. By Alexey Shiro on

    Mattthieu, if you want “environmental challenges”, I suggest thinking more in therms of mechanic, than organic) Some sort of advanced automatic weapon system, brought by the Squall – clever enough to plan the actions, but not sentient enough to truly realize, what happened. Sort of “rouge Bolo” (well, not THAT advanced!) which is still trying to fight a war, that remained in other world.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Again, theme is everything. The setting is somewhere between 1632, Flags of our Fathers and The Lost World… let’s not add a villain from Star Trek.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        You are missing my point. Not a villain, but a sophisticated unmanned combat system. Sort of fully-automated missile destroyer, with limited AI but no self-awarness; i.e. capable to adapting to tactical situation, but unable to understood that situation changed too much. Something, just a bit above our early XXI-century level. Technically, we could build fully-automated warship now, we just don’t want to do that, because such unit would be pretty dangerous to operate. But in some world when such problems arent most important…

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, for me the beauty of Destroyermen saga is, that their world could handle a lot from different settings and incorporate in its patterns…

          Reply
        2. By Justin on

          And you’re missing my point. Right now, D-Men is historical science fiction; WWII, but with teleportation, flintlocks and dinosaurs. No robots or aliens involved.

          An automated missile destroyer, even non-sapient, sounds too much like a space opera “problem of the week” to gel with the setting. Like a lightsaber in a Tolkien novel – technically it’s a sword, but it doesn’t really belong there.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            //An automated missile destroyer, even non-sapient, sounds too much like a space opera “problem of the week” to gel with the setting. Like a lightsaber in a Tolkien novel – technically it’s a sword, but it doesn’t really belong there.//

            Oh please, when “Hidoiame” appeared, wasn’t it the “problem of the week” in clearest? :)

          2. By Justin on

            Semi-historical Kagero-class destroyer, human crew; the problem is the “men” that sail her as much as the DD. Skynet and V Ger – no matter how primitive and non-sapient – don’t really belong here.

          3. By Matt on

            I think this is straying from technical discussion and into general plot discussion at this point. I’ll part with saying I don’t think we need to throw in advanced sci-fi stuff to the book and I don’t need an ultimate explanation to the cause and source of the transfers. Sometimes not knowing can be more interesting.

          4. By donald johnson on

            Were he to toss in even any 2016 tech it would be too much. yes technology seems to advance in war much faster than in peace but even 1960’s tech would be to much in the 1944 era that we are presently living with the destroyermen. I do feel that they will salvage the turbines from the jap destroyer and bring the whole thing home on a drydock just for the tech.

          5. By donald johnson on

            I was thinking that for faster nerves than are normal on animals on very large scale that optical type nerve conduction might be possible. after all the animals already have photo emitters and as photo detectors are simply eye’s then the next stage would be organic optical pipes. as there are already examples of fish that you van see through this does not seem too far fetched. This does not require the superconductors that many seem ti think is needed. transmission is speed of light for the length of any nerve and if not too many nerve repeaters are required the speed should definitely exceed the 200 FPS of our nerves.

        3. By Steve Moore on

          Everything seems to be time-linked; the transfer doesn’t seem to jump centuries, and what’s transferred in is similar to what’s already there.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Thats exactly the problem; the time inside the Squall is moving. So, the Squall transferred objects actually in their past (otherwise they missed the planet surface…)

            So, the time travels through the Squall are perfectly possible. There is not much difference, what to connect – the relativity still worked.

      1. By Justin on

        My God, the mountain fish are behind all the Squalls!

        Reply
  12. By Justin on

    Haven’t mentioned this yet, but the Union’s down to a pair of tanks. Probably won’t be able to build new ones in time for the Battle of Sofesshk, but there probably will be more.

    Question is, does Baalkpan churn out the proven Mk.I Turtleshell (with slight modifications), or come up with a brand new design? We know Chack’s been thinking about the merits of mounting a field gun inside…

    Reply
    1. By matthieu on

      Historically the field gun became needed only to fight against entrenched machineguns (with concrete). Machineguns were often seen as good enough, especially at the begining. Guns befome efficient only when you get a turret. A FT17 like is possible.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        //Guns befome efficient only when you get a turret. A FT17 like is possible.//

        They don’t really have a cannon sized for the current tanks. A modified Derby gun would be too much for that chassis. Something like the FT 17 is definitely feasible though. For a turret, they could just go with unpowered armor on rollers with one or two .50 cal M2s. That would be heavy enough to deal with anything the Grik or Doms have, short of fortifications.

        For fortifications, they could put a Derby gun on a tractor chassis with forward armor. Sort of an assault gun or even an tank killer. It would give them something to play with & test with an eye towards building a true modern tank in a few years.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          If they get some sort of 25mm cannon variant based on the Amagi’s AAA, a semi-auto version would make a dandy light tank gun.

          Reply
          1. By Matt on

            Probably more effective still in full auto. It would be pretty devastating against infantry and the extra weight of the 25mm would make it a bit more effective against dug in troops than a 50cal would.

            Really though to have proper tanks we need proper tank guns and we don’t have anything like that. The derby could be used as a starting point developmentally but tank guns and artillery guns are made with different goals in mind. The tank gun needs to be lighter and more compact in order to fit in a turret and not throw off the center of mass.

            We probably won’t see a tank with a proper gun that isn’t jury rigged for awhile.

        2. By Justin on

          Perhaps two models off a common chassis?

          The M2, a light/medium tank with a manual-operation turret and two MGs or an autocannon, like the Panzer II.
          Used as a cavalry tank.

          The M3, a low-hull assault gun like a Hetzer.
          Used as an infantry tank, but occasionally used for breakthroughs.

          Reply
    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      Against whom? Against Grik & Doms, current designs probably would be good enough. Against League… it isn’t actually matter; the League AT weaponry would be able to take out anything that Alliance could build. Short of superheavies, probably. And Alliance have no tank-building experience either.

      (That’s why I’m advocating for Soviet transfer – even a small number of late-war T-34-85 could gave the League a lot of reason to worry, and they could gave Alliance the examples of modern tanks. Also, they are very reliable, and could be supported even on jury-rigged industry).

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        Hell the early model T-34 would be far superior to anything the league would have. What’s the best tanks the league would have from 1939? Probably French H35s and the like which weren’t bad tanks at the beginning of the war but they carried low velocity guns. The Italians were never good with tanks and the Germans are going to have maybe panzer 3s at best. None of those can frontally pen any t-34 at any range. The league would be reduced to ambush tactics. Their anti tank weapons would be mostly useless as well. Tanks improved a lot during the war. More in those 5 years than they had in the previous 20.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, they may have Somua S.35 – they were quite good tanks. And, it is possible that in League’s world, French army have more money and could push tank programs faster – they may have G1R, or something like Somua S.40 already.

          But I agree completely – even the T-34-76 would be far superior to any tanks that League might possess (G1R may be an exception), and T-34-85 would be able to clear battlefield of any League armor. The T-34 combined good amarment with pretty capable protection – early-war German anti-tank gus were just useless against their frontal armor! – and good mobility.

          So, it would be really good for Union to have a Soviet armored battalion. Not too powerfull to be really a game-changer – but great help in building the modern army. The soviet late-war strategy of “combined deep operations” were arguably the best possible pre-nuclear land strategy.

          Reply
          1. By Matthieu on

            No no and no. We have already far too many groups from our world. We need more challenges against the environment.

            What about a fight against genetically engineered big beasts (an experiment from those who created the jump technology. They does a long time ago but their technology remained more or less active).

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Please! We already have almost the whole Axis and United Nations here – except of USSR! Besides, the tensions between soviet troops and american sailors may be pretty interesting plot points.

            //What about a fight against genetically engineered big beasts (an experiment from those who created the jump technology. They does a long time ago but their technology remained more or less active).//

            As interesting as shooting fish in the barrel. We already have mountain fishes, and even their ability to survive in Destroyermen’s world is very much stretching the limits. What could be MORE dangerous and problematic than M’fishes – and still capable to survive in near-Earth environment?

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            An armored battalion may be a bit much. How about a tank company (10 tanks, about the same # as the P-40s) sent by rail to defend Stalingrad. The Czechs came by rail, so it’s possible. They could reinforce whoever the LOT is dealing with in the Mediterranean or Black Sea area.

          4. By Matt on

            Matthieu we have no reason to believe that the transfers are caused by advanced technology, alien or otherwise. Could just as easily be that it’s an entirely natural occurrence.

            I’d like to think that the destroyermen universe has a lower ground state than ours or anyone else’s so it becomes a natural dumping ground. Have you heard of the false vacuum theory? It’s pretty terrifying but the basic idea is that our universe didn’t settle on its true ground state and it’s actually in a false vacuum. A sufficiently high burst of energy could shift us off this false state and to the true ground state which would mean the end of life as we know it.

            I like to think that the lemurians universe is at the true vacuum and the other multiverses use it as a form of safety valve. When things get too high energy they get dumped there.

            I also feel like introducing some God like super advanced race into the mix so late in the story is bad story telling and a clear example of jumping the shark. I don’t think Taylor is the kind of author that would write himself into the kind of corner that would require “ancient effing aliens”.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Matthieu we have no reason to believe that the transfers are caused by advanced technology, alien or otherwise. Could just as easily be that it’s an entirely natural occurrence. //

            Matt, with all respect, but I disagree. Transfers seems to be… very selective. They involve a lot of precise targetings, they catch targets very deliberatedly, they even compensate for time lag between origin world and Destroyermen’s world! IMHO, this is the resons to believe, that Squall is the part of some inter-dimensional transport system, that malfunctioned.

          6. By matthieu on

            Well, we see known that there are paralell universes. There should be an explanation:
            – natural
            – arfificial — intended
            — accident (or something turned wrong)

          7. By Justin on

            Why? The Squall’s a MacGuffin, just like S.M. Stirling’s Event. Courtney can try to understand it all he wants, but he won’t, and we shouldn’t need to either; what would be the fun in knowing what, where and when the next transfer will be?

            And I mean no harm, but I sincerely hope that it’s NOT alien technology… because that means we’ll eventually have to see the creators and the control room, and that’ll be a worse M. Night Shyamalan plot twist than the Mass Effect 3 ending.

          8. By Alexey Shiro on

            Not exactly, Justin. The Squall might be some long-forgotten system, whom creators may not be around anymore. The “control room” may not even exist in material terms – such system is, probably, completely self-sufficient and recieved control input through some sort of datalink.

          9. By donald j johnson on

            Taylor has replied many times as to the alien influence. There is no alien influence he won’t tell us the cause but there is no aliens involved

      2. By Justin on

        Can’t have any transfers from the German Front because they’d end up on top of a glacier or out of the Allies’ reach… so it’d have to be the Invasion of Manchuria – 3-5 books from now.

        In the meantime, the current tank has weak spots that smoothbore cannons can penetrate. The Union should at least replace the “turtle” with a proper armoured casemate.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Pg. 334 has cannon balls bouncing off the tanks for the most part. The heavy cannon that got one was firing at point blank range & may or may not have penetrated. It didn’t really say, just that the tank stopped, guys got out & then it burst into flame. The ball may have been heavy enough to jar fuel lines loose in it & something sparked a fire.

          Reply
      3. By donald johnson on

        Did the soviets have any tanks in the east in the mid 40’s before july 45 when they brought some to fight the japs? I would have thought that they would not waste ant production that they needed to use fighting the germans in 43-45.
        I would not expect to see any russian tanks showing up before aug 45 at the very earliest due to the need of them in the west.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Quite a lot, actually. Granted, most of them were old, T-26 & BT-7/9 series. The first modern T-34-85 started to arrive in early 1945.

          Reply
        2. By Steve Moore on

          Lot of Soviet-Japanese tank battles in East even before Germans went into Poland… and Japanese had their heads handed to them.

          Reply
          1. By donald j johnson on

            If there were lots of tank battles in the east between the Japs and the Soviets then why weren’t the Soviets and the Japanese actually at War at the time

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Because no side actually wanted this war. Yes, the Japanese provoked a lot of border skrimishes in Mongolia (which was USSR ally) in 1935-1939, but never actually pushed for the open war.

            The USSR was far more concered about Germany, so as soon as Japanese were beaten (at Lake Khasan in 1938, and later at Khalkhin Gol in may-september 1939), and pushed away from Mongolia, the USSR immediately agreed to the proposed non-agression pact with Japan.

            For the Japanese, this was more internal than external struggle. The Japanese Army staged all this as desperate attempt to “do something effective”, because China war was lagging and dragging and IJA was unable to bring quick and major victories.

            P.S. At Khalkin Gol, the IJN fielded 3rd and 4th tank reigments, with (in total) 38 medium tanks, 35 light tanks and 14 tankettes. The USSR fielded around 500 tanks and tankettes – generally of T-26 and BT models – in two tank divisions and two tank brigades. Our armor eventually solved the problem; Zhukov used our tank superiority to break Japanese flanks and completely destroy the 23rd Japanese division. After that conflict, the IJA becamwe very wary of Red Army…

      4. By donald johnson on

        Did the soviets even have any tanks in the east in the mid 40’s before july 45 when they brought some to fight the japs? I would have thought that they would not waste ant production that they needed to use fighting the germans in 43-45.
        I would not expect to see any russian tanks showing up before aug 45 at the very earliest due to the need of them in the west.

        Reply
    3. By Steve Moore on

      I’m probably going to be a spoilsport here, but the result of the tank landings and employment shows that there’s a lot more to learn here. I don’t think we’ll be going up against the LOT anytime soon, so there’s time to improve both the technology and the tactics.

      Meanwhile, what the Alliance could use, in both the ground-attack/tank-killer role and ship-killer role, is something more like the IL-2, Hs 129, Beaufort, Stuka or P-39. They’ve got the torpedo bombers to copy or use, they’ve got 25mm autocannons, and they could have additional wing stores. They could fly off land bases or carriers.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Don’t forget the heavy fighter role – they could use something that can intercept bombers as well.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          Outside of the night fighter role most heavy fighters didn’t do too well as interceptors. They just didn’t have the rate of climb for it. Of course when you are up against Grik zeppelins that doesn’t matter as much.

          The 25mm guns are going to need some modifications. They use a 15 round box magazine which on a ship mount can be changed easy enough but in an aircraft we will want more. Either a belt fed modification or larger mags. That’s assuming they don’t pull off a design like the BF110 where the rear gunner could turn around and change mags for the cannons.

          It may be more practical to take something like the TBs and shove a couple of 30 cals in the nose like a smaller version of the strafer noses in B-25s and A-26s. The Browning copies are proven so we don’t have to redesign them and since the Grik lack armored vehicles the heavier cannon probably aren’t needed as much. Anything tougher could be handled with some bombs. The increased rate of fire from multiple MGs is probably more effective against soft targets than the slower and bigger cannons.

          Looking at the specs of the Dp1m1 it can carry 1000lbs of ordinance. If we limit it to a strafer nose and ditch the now redundant third crew member we could stuff plenty of M1919s in the nose with weight to spare for ammo and even some light weight firebombs mounted under the wings. We could probably go a step further and retrofit 4″/50 HE shells as bombs. The shell itself only weighs 33lbs so we could stuff 4 M1919s in the nose and two 4″/50 bombs under each wing with 250 rounds per gun and we are still way under the max weight budget with only 316lbs in ordinance. Maybe spend the rest on some thin steel plate to act as armor for the crew and engines.

          That sounds like a really effective ground attacker to me.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            My sentiments exactly, although I’d rather go with M2 .50 cal as the nose weapons. Better penetration through wooden hulls to engine rooms. Or, if you’re fighting Doms, attack from the stern and just clean out the whole gun deck. Throw in a few tracers and light up the powder bags as well.

            Anti-zep versions could use the M1919, I agree, maybe even give the rear gunner a twin mount. For ground attack, I like the M2, can go through 4 or 5 Grik at once. The AAF made ‘cluster’ incendiary weapons; why not a version with mortar bombs instead of incendiary (or a mix).

            Wonder what there is on Savoie to copy, in the 40mm range? Maybe a good project for the RRP Derby works to pursue, since they’ve got so much experience and a good work force.

          2. By Matt on

            I was thinking m1919s for the lower weight and higher overall RoF because more guns. The 50s would be better at punching through wood though.

            //Wonder what there is on Savoie to copy, in the 40mm range?

            Sadly nothing there. Seems the French went with 75mm AA artillery and 13.7mm AA MGs. That was in our world. Could be in theirs the French decided to adopt the 40mm Bofors.

  13. By Matthieu on

    Japanese and new technologies

    We have been said that basic Japaneses have been pardoned… but unless people become stupid, not before having collected all their knowledge. Right now the alliance has 200 of them. A significant number has a technical background. They also captured all blueprints and many Grik engineers. They also captured heavy machines. Few people know that but they are surprisingly resilient to damage.

    As a consequence, on the long run, we can expect the alliance to get all Japaneses’ technologies, solutions and ideas.

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Well, the most important thing that Japanese could teach them is tactics. Japanese “night torpedo & gunnery tactics” – and pre-radar, japanese were superior here.

      If the League’s navy followed more or less our world French/German/Italian doctrines, they probably aren’t well prepared to nighttime action. Here, the Japanese experience could really do the trick. Active use of projectors and starshells, coordinated fire against illuminated targets, the use of cruisers & battlecruisers to break through escorts and make way for destroyers and torpedo boats…

      Reply
      1. By Clifton Sutherland on

        Now, that would be a devious ploy, to use adapt to the captured Japanese ideas. Maybe we will see an Iron Bottom Sound somewhere around africa?

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Already have something similar in Zanzibar Harbor, courtesy of the MTBs.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            MTB’s are next thing to useless in open sea combat.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            True. “PT boats were used for harassing enemy shore installations, supporting friendly troop landings, destroying floating mines, sinking enemy shipping targets, destroying enemy landing barges, rescuing downed pilots, landing partisans behind enemy lines, and attacking enemy island outposts.”
            They’re good a surprise attacks at close range, but the confines of a harbor works also.

  14. By Justin on

    While the fighter discussion is still fresh… could the Union repurpose and manufacture Muriname’s torp bombers against League threats (assuming limited fighter cover), or are they obsolete too?

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      That depends on what they’re attacking. If it’s one or two ships, it’s viable, though they will take losses. Against say a small flotilla, they’ll take lots of loses, but still may be able to do damage. Against a task group or fleet, they’ll get shot to pieces.

      One thing to remember, they’ll have to close the range before dropping the torpedoes, since the current gen torpedoes are range limited. That gives the target more time to shoot at them & to maneuver. Plus I think the Union torpedo’s warheads are less powerful than modern ones, so the damage they do would be less & need more hits to cripple or sink major ships. On the other claw, the Swordfish did OK against the Bismarck, so single ships or small formations are definitely vulnerable.

      This is assuming they have protection against seaplanes from the ships.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        The Union’s Mark 6 has a longer range now (6000 yards?) but don’t know if the twin-engine torpedo planes could carry it. KK’s torpedoes were smaller and shorter range.

        Don’t know if all the torpedo bombers managed to flee (with how many Japanese pilots and ground crew/builders?) but if there are flyable types, add some additional internal fuel and use them for scouting the coast. Better still, load up with bombs and go Grik-hunting, to confuse them even more.

        Or, broadcast an appeal to Muriname. Offer some terms for living among humans, parole, etc, and get them to fly back. I don’t think I’d want to live among the Grik and have to be judged by KK’s conduct…

        Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          Getting the surviving Japanese to surrender under parole might be a real trick due to their versions of Honor. Remember that they follow the Never Surrender rule and the majority May not want to surrender because their boss did not surrender however that problem may be alleviated if the proper leaders do surrender and the terms of their surrender. If they are allowed to change sides to join the allies without condition and at the same rank that they presently hold and preferably doing the same job that they are presently doing then they might seriously consider it.

          Reply
      2. By Matt on

        Range is a moot point as with straight running torps the chance of dodging then increases a lot the farther out they are launched. Proper TB doctrine would involve the pilots dropping as close as they can to guarantee a hit. I think the bigger issue is the warhead size. Put bluntly the union’s torpedoes are wimpy. Bulges and such aren’t all the effective in the real world but the union torps are going to have a hard time with modern ships.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Well then take the torpedo bombers and put a pair of 25mm in the bomb bay, and strafe your targets. Don’t forget, the Alliance needs to target the unarmored fleet train if the League ever comes to call. Doms or Griks just need torpedoes for the slower cruisers and BBs.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          //Bulges and such aren’t all the effective in the real world but the union torps are going to have a hard time with modern ships.//

          Usually it was just the capital ships that were large enough to have torpedo belts & bulges, so the Union torpedoes will need lots of hits to cause significant damage. BUT CAs & CLs don’t have torpedo bulges & their armor is a lot thinner, so the torpedoes will cripple or sink them. DDs & the fleet train are not armored at all, so the torps will readily sink them or at least cause crippling damage.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Er… French “Algerie” actually have pretty good torpedo protection. Not as good as battleships, but still better than most cotemporary.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            True, but she was the only one of her class built & I can’t find any other heavy cruisers that mention torpedo bulkheads in their armor layout.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            But in League’s world she may be not alone) Initially, French Navy planned to build as much as four cruisers of “Algerie”-class. Additional ships were cancelled due to London Treaty. But – due to the existence of additional “Surcouf”-class submarine in League Navy (I called her “Aregnaudeau” :) ), we knew, that there were no London Treaty in League’s world.

            So, the French Navy could perfectly well have additional “Algerie”-class cruisers.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            Even so, they should only have maybe one of that class since she was built to be a flagship. Also, the Union torpedoes will damage her, probably to the same extent more powerful ones from our world would damage a better protected BB, so she’s still vulnerable.

    2. By Justin on

      What about a similar airframe, but larger and with three or four engines? Would the increase in speed, durability and payload be an advantage, or should the Union stick with the “good enough” DP1M1s?

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Didn’t the Italians use the SM79 as a torpedo plane? But 4 engines means bigger wing, less maneuverable… go with what you got.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          They did use it as a TB and it could carry two torpedoes but keep in mind the SM79 had about 2400 HP combined from its three engines. That’s quite a bit more than we have to work with.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Sure, but 1140 hp (using Muriname’s engines) is still a lot more than 760 hp. Faster = harder to hit.

          2. By Matt on

            At this stage we aren’t talking about HP for speed. Just for carrying capacity so they can carry a decent sized torpedo a reasonable range. No TB was ‘fast’ even the later ones were slow. Dropping a torp at high speed is a good way to destroy the weapon. It’s one of the reasons that TBs against surface warships wasn’t a viable tactic in the long term. To survive the AA you have to go fast. Going fast means you can’t drop the torpedo. In the end bombing and missiles won out for air delivered weapons. The modern air delivered torpedoes are mostly used against subs and usually have something to slow them down when dropped like a parachute. Torps are more practical as ship launched weapons.

          3. By Steve Moore on

            Which brings me back to rockets again. High speed (600 mph), less complex, can be carried on faster planes, and lighter/more accurate than bombs. As Matt suggests, better for DD’s. I’m not sure I’d want to risk the sole CL I have in a torpedo attack; I’d rather have more secondaries.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            //Dropping a torp at high speed is a good way to destroy the weapon. It’s one of the reasons that TBs against surface warships wasn’t a viable tactic in the long term.//

            That was true at the beginning of WW2 for the USN. The Devastators had to drop the torps going no more than 100 mph at no greater than 50 feet. This was due to the fragility of the torps. The TB’s were basically, flying targets. But later in the war they had developed to the point where you could drop a torp from any altitude & up to 500 mph & they worked quite well against surface targets. Ask the Musashi & Yamato about that.

        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          //Didn’t the Italians use the SM79 as a torpedo plane?//

          We’ll probably see a few SM 79s as part of the Italian LOT forces in later books. They’re faster than the JU-52 & being made of wood, would be easier to maintain & repair. They carry less weight & passengers though, but were still used successfully as a medium bomber & TB during the war, while the JU 52 was almost strictly a cargo & troop hauler.

          Reply
  15. By donald johnson on

    Devil’s Due: Destroyermen, Book 12…
    $38.49
    Audible.com

    I actually saw this on a site I go to. Boy what a ripoff

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      There is a good Russian anekdote about that: The group of old aicraft engineers boarded the new plane, and suddenly someone told them, that this plane designed by students, that those engineers trained personally. Paniking, all except one engineers stampede to the doors, but one old professor remained calm.

      “Relax, guys”, – he told the others, – “Considering how we taught our students, we are perfectly safe. This plane wouldn’t even be able to move on ground, far less to lift off.”

      —————————————–

      Lou, don’t forget: the Alliance haven’t got ANY professional aircraft engineers! They have very little competent engineers (competent by means of 1930s aircraft industry) at all.

      Such machine as you proposed – two-engine, pusher&puller configuration, tailbooms, enclosed cockpit – would not be easy to build even for cotemporary aircraft corporations. For the Destroyermen, such plane would be impossibly hard to even design, far less build.

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        It seemed quite normal and easy to produce and with 2 engines it can have counter-rotating Props to eliminate torque. The reduced drag from not having 2 nacelles is about 15 to 20 % I would guess which translates to a speed increase of roughly sqrt of drag reduction ☻

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          would counter-rotating props 20′ or so apart stress the center fuselage?

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            It would be stressed either way, but in different areas. Counter rotating would put torsional stress on the fuselage, which could be accounted for. Rotating in the same direction would put stress on the wings & the point where the wings join the fuselage, mostly on the side the props are rotating towards. These are not high powered engines, so they should be able to counter the stresses the same way they do on the P-1s.

            Also, you don’t have to build an engine that counter rotates, just take the whole assembly & turn it to put it on the rear end. Facing the other way, it automatically counter rotates. You have to reverse the blade angles though.

          2. By donald johnson on

            that was what I was assuming as to counter rotate by turning around keeps the same engine front and back. all engines swap-able between planes without changing anything. The only potential problems with this kind of swap is bearing wear is potentially different between pushing and pulling and a swap MIGHT actually help engine life.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            //The only potential problems with this kind of swap is bearing wear is potentially different between pushing and pulling and a swap MIGHT actually help engine life.//

            Forgot about that. You’re right, they may need to swap the thrust bearings around on the aft engine.

      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        //For the Destroyermen, such plane would be impossibly hard to even design, far less build.//

        If they can build P-1Cs & PB-5Ds, they have the knowledge & experience to build this. It’s not as big a technical challenge as building a CL from scratch in three years. The hardest part would be balancing the aircraft aerodynamically . They can take their time calculating the balances & stresses & doing flight tests on prototypes, since the current aircraft are capable of handling what the Grik have & the LOT are a distant threat for now. One way or another, they are eventually going to need something more capable than the P-1C to counter the LOTs Macchi Messerschmitt’s.

        Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Nice, Lou. Just curious, can you mold plywood into a flattened drop tank, sort of like a fat pumpkin seed?

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Not in one piece. You might get away with two steamed & press formed pieces. If not the nose & tail cones may have to be separate pieces & everything would have to be glued, pinned or screwed together. A bladder would be needed on the inside for the fuel to keep it from eating the plywood’s glue & coming apart.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          A steel drop tank is feasible so why mess with wood. and the added advantage of being able to fill with napalm which they do know about. Yes it is a bit heaver but as it is a potentially throw away product it does not need to be made strong enough for repeated landings.

          Reply
  16. By George Gauthier on

    Why doesn’t the alliance produce autogyros? These are among the simplest of aircraft propelled by a pusher propeller aft. Lift for the light fuselage comes from a combination of stubby wings and a freely rotating rotor. Its own forward movement creates a wind which spins the rotor. A rudder controls yaw while the stick tilts the rotor to control pitch and roll. They are mechanically very simple, with few moving parts.

    Now an autogyro cannot rise vertically or hover, but they can take off and land in hardly more than their own length. Also they can orbit in a tight circle. Autogyros would be perfect for air-sea rescue, air mail, air taxis, light air freight, etc. With no propeller in front they could be armed with light machine guns for protection and might be useful for reconnaissance too.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      It would have to be a fairly large auto gyro, since the smallest production engine they have is a water cooled version of the Wright/Gypsy engine (a licensed copy of the de Havilland Gypsy). The air cooled version weighed 285 lbs., so a water cooled version would weigh some around 350 lbs. or more. Still doable though & as you say a simple aircraft to build. Put some floats on it & lever action retractable wheels & you’d have a very versatile little machine.

      A .30 cal BMG might be a bit much, but a couple of Blitzer Bugs close to the pilot so they can reload the magazines in flight would work. A cat named James Bond would be proud to fly one

      Reply
    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      George, actually, most 1930s autogyros have frontal propeller.

      Lou, well, the soviet Kamov A-7 aurogyro (first flight in 1934, was used in World War II) was povered by M-22 engine – which was the copy of “Bristol Jupiter” engine. As far as I could recall, the A-7 could carry about 750 kg of cargo & ordnance – including three 7.62-mm MG, several bombs and rockets.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Sweet! Something like that or the Pitcairn PCA-2 could be powered by one of the single row radials & be quite useful. Maybe Taylor will come up with something.

        Reply
    3. By matthieu on

      Same reason as in our world:
      – limited lift
      – very sensitive to weather
      – incredible complicated to master (attrition was high).
      – slow speed.

      Basically small planes like a Polikarpov Po-2 can do the same thing for a fraction of the cost and training.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        //– incredible complicated to master (attrition was high).//

        Attrition was primarily due to structural failures of the rotors or the aircraft itself from the unusual stresses (flutter etc.) generated by sticking a rotor on top of an aircraft. It took a while for those stresses to be understood, so quite right, they’d best stick with what they know.

        Reply
    4. By Justin on

      Welcome aboard, George. That depends on whether or not anybody in the Alliance knows what autogyros are. If not, you might as well ask them to try and make atomic bombs.

      Also keep in mind that said autogyros would most likely have a low flight ceiling… therefore putting them in rocket, AA and small arms range.

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        I’m sure they’ve at least heard of them. The Germans flew one in the opening Olympic ceremony in 1936. So radio personalities probably commented on it given how weird it was. But they have so many drawbacks I doubt Ben would give it serious consideration. They are better off making something like the PO-2 or Storch that is STOL capable. That just requires light weight, a big wing and rugged landing gear.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Well, the autogyros were known in USA even before 1936. Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro Company was founded in USA in 1926. And they build at leas a few dozens of PCA-2 autogyro, which were used by several new agencies.

          Reply
    5. By Steve Moore on

      Think they’d be better off building a Flettner-type rotor arrangement so they can have a true helicopter. They were flying in 1938 I think

      Reply
      1. By donald j johnson on

        The Japanese had very satisfactory anti-submarine helicopters during the war in 43 and after

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Autogyros, actually. But yes, they pioneered the ASW role of VTOL aircrafts. Kayaba Ka-1 were considered quite satisfactory in patrol role – they could hover to investigate possible persicopes, and as far as I knew, quite often warned cargo ships about US subs nearby.

          Reply
    6. By George Gauthier on

      Thanks for all the perceptive comments from folks who know a whole lot more about these things than I do.
      Yes there are limitations with autogyros like low ceiling and range, but that would not be a problem if they were employed in search and rescue or spotting for the navel guns. Their take off run is so short you wouldn’t need catapults like on the Walker. Then there are civilian applications like air mail or air taxi between the islands in the Malay Archipelago.

      So I think there might be a place for autogyros in the world the Walker has found itself upon.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Agree; as long as the people shooting at you only have muskets and swords! 😉
        SAR requires the ability to hover, unless all you’re doing is observing for the eventual rescuers… and unless they get there in 30 seconds for a water rescue, they won’t beat the flashies.

        I do agree on the air mail approach; a great use would be in the Empire islands, hopping from town to town and only requiring a small field to land in. Ditto with the RRP, something they could easily build a fleet of autogyros quickly.

        If the carriers had a few, they’d be useful, as you said, for spotting but also for quick ship-to-shore transit. I wouldn’t risk senior staff in a two seater like the Kayaba Alexey mentioned, but for taking dispatches back and forth during radio silence, they’d be great.

        Speaking of radio silence, radio listening is probably the first thing Esshk is going to demand of Muriname and the surviving Japanese.

        Reply
  17. By Matthieu on

    Dear all, as I can see that the spoiler season has begun…. here is one in a long series of soon to come posts

    Artillery in battle: the 75mm case

    Well, I have to say that, for the first time ever, I read an accurate and perfect description of the way a 75mm gun is working. Each move is technically correct and done in the right order.

    The problem is that this excellent gun has been used in the battle in an inept way.

    Technically it’s a game changer. We will assume that it’s worse than the true 75mm. According to the book, the range is 3000m (far less than the real one: 6500m). We also know that they can shoot very fast (technically the 75mm could fire 20 rpm during a few minutes). Thus real one also had limited traverse allowing a battery to shoot in a 20° (more or less) angle without moving.

    – What they are going to discover after the battle is that black powder is not perfect for it! Historical experiments were done with black powder and it was a mess as after just a few dozens shots, fouling (I’m not sure of the word) appeared and the gun had to stop shooting for cleaning. Smoke was also so heavy that it became impossible to breath in the area. Not their fault. Historically Poudre B was used instead but as it was sensitive to heat and dilatation changed the geometry of the gun, they had to be painted pale blue.
    Some specific shells with tin and lead lining were also used to clean the gun as copper residuals could damage the gun.

    – With such a range, it’s definitively stupid to keep them with infantry. They mush remain in the rear (well, they tried). It’s also needed because they eat tons of ammunition each minute. Here is the historical TO&E for a 4 gun battery:
    http://canonde75modele1897.blogspot.fr/search/label/chevaux

    You will see something really strange (for us): you need 168 horses and 171 men for 4 guns… but among them only 25 are effectively with the guns! The explanation is logistics, logistics and logistics! Many more men and horses are needed to supply them. 50% of them just in the rear and 50% between the read and the regimental train.

    – in the book they were far LESS efficient than what they should have been. A single half battery of three can shoot 30 shells per minute (sustained speed, not even emergency speed). It’s just not physically possible for an infantry unit to cross the field (even without taking into consideration the machineguns)…. unless we take into account some specific problems that are going to be corrected:
    1/ with such a short range, the shell angle is so small that many probably just “slide” and don’t explode.
    2/ they don’t traverse the gun enough, allowing some places to remain unaffected
    3/ they have a supply problem that slows firing and/or black powder slows them at the worst moment.

    It means that we can expect them to become much more efficient later, as long as they have ammunition.

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      Agreed. The effect of shrapnel shells against massed infantry have to be MUCH more drastic. Shrapnel do more area damage than HE’s; it is less effective against protected targets, but soft, unprotected would be just devastated.

      Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      The Derby guns may not have that big of a traverse mechanism, it wasn’t described in detail, only a “windage” adjustment capability. That’s not usually a large adjustment range, maybe 3-5 degrees off bore sight. Also the batteries were set up between legions. I don’t know how much distance that would be between batteries, maybe half a kilometer? They are set up about a half kilometer from the tree line, so to cover the entire front, they would need a 45 degree traverse off centerline capability to cover the whole front. They may have setup a few degrees pre-traversed however, to give a broader cone to the firing pattern.

      The batteries were probably doing an excellent job of killing everything in front & slightly to the sides of them, but that still leaves sections for the Grik to advance. The Maxims should have been taking up that slack though. Hard to advance against both machine gun & artillery fire.

      As far as range goes, shooting blind into the trees would have been a waste of ammunition at the end of a long logistical trail. They didn’t even know if the Grik were there until the horns blew. Siting the batteries to the rear to give plunging fire would be good if they had fused shells that would explode in the air instead of on impact. Granted they were using them with old smoothbore artillery doctrine, but for the situation, it was about all they could do. An open field battle where they knew where the enemy was & could pound them at 3-6 kilometers would have been nice, but they didn’t have that luxury.

      Reply
      1. By Matthieu on

        > I don’t know how much distance that would be between batteries, maybe half a kilometer? They are set up about a half kilometer from the tree line, so to cover the entire front, they would need a 45 degree traverse

        That’s why it was inept! They could also have used a traverse fire (basically the gun doesn’t shoot to the front but to the side and they play with distance).

        – They set up 1000m from the forest while most of their best weapons (artillery) are able to reach more than 3000! This is more than stupid.
        – They don’t sent ANY scout in the first. Not a single one. Not even to hold the side

        >Hard to advance against both machine gun & artillery fire.

        Sure. I may be wrong but there were close to 150 machine guns, no? 8 per legion IIRW. On a 4km front (?), that’s one per 50m! This is an incredible amount of firepower. If you assume that they are really not efficient (let’s say 100 rpm sustained to take into account stoppages and so on), they fire 3.75 bullet per meter per minute.

        They also have something like 200-220 75mm guns? If we assume that only 120 are deployed (assuming that they are completely stupid), they can shoot 600 shells per minute during (at a stupidly slow speed of 5 RPM). 600 per minute means one shell per 7 meter per minute (!). If you assume that all are deployed and fire at maximum speed, you get 1 shell per 2 meters per minute (!!!!!!!!!). It’s close to 15 tons of shells per minute!

        p252 “crew unlimbered three on each side”. WTF!!!! They are a single unit and you split them! They should have put all six of them together.
        –> there are 6 75mm between each legion. For a twenty meters gap, it’s quite crowded. They are literally wheel to wheel.

        ———————————————–

        So it means that something turned really wrong somewhere or there were many more Griks than expected as there is just no way for them to cross then 1000m and remain effective.

        Opinion?

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          I agree with you – there is no way Griks could survive the barrage of 75-cm, firing shrapnel. In 1914, just sixteen shells from a battery of said guns (fired blind into the night, because battery commander thought that he noticed something moving near the nearby forest), decimated the whole German cavalry reigment.

          Unless for some reason the Republik shrapnel was VERY bad – some fuze problems? – they should literally whipe Grik out even before they came into the rifles range.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          All true, but we have to realize this is the first major land battle the Republic has ever fought. Bekiaa was the only one with experience & she had a hard time getting all these legions, used to operating independently, to act in concert as an army. Half the baggage train is probably luxury items like what the 23rd legion’s Colonel brought, & probably half the officers (if not more) are political appointees &/or favorite sons/daughters, with little or no idea what modern warfare will be like. General Kim, while competent at what he knew, was well out of his depth commanding an army that sized & while willing to listen to Bekiaa, still didn’t realize what they faced. They’re ALL amateurs except her. Even the hard core Centurions have no real experience in this sort of thing. It’s like the beginning of WW1, where even with the example of what the American Civil War was like, many generals were still using Napoleonic War tactics, like massed charges against artillery & machine guns.

          If they had stopped two kilometers from the wood line, sent in scouts & deployed the artillery & machine guns with overlapping & enfilading fields of fire, they would have been able to handle the Grik easily. But these lessons are always hard won. They’ll do better next time, but so will the Grik. Things will get really bad trying to cross the Ungee River.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Hoping that Lok-Fon gets a redemption… or if not, that she gets a nice, cushy job counting trees somewhere.

          2. By Matthieu on

            We know that they are amateurs. It’s just that the simple density of bullets and shells should have crushed immediately any Grik unit. Griks used outdated tactics and it’s just impossible for a machinegun not to hit them.

            When Griks turned and moved along, MG were even able to to enfilading fire without having to move. Basically just by shooting straight.

            That’s why I have a problem with numbers. If you tell me that there were 100.000 griks and 10.000 were able to cross the field, then I believe you. Sheer numbers turn it into something believable.

          3. By Clifton Sutherland on

            Matthieu, can you explain your problem with numbers? As in, you have a problem with the numbers described in the book, or in using numbers as a force multiplier in general?

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            There’s also the Grik artillery firing into troops not used to getting shoot at, with some of the 75s & Maxims getting knocked out, that thins out the fire a bit. The smoke, plus the tactics of all piling into one section of the Republic lines would have been enough to locally overwhelm the guns & allowed some of the Grik to survive long enough to close with the Republican line at that particular point.

          5. By Steve Moore on

            Look at the American experience, with political appointees, in both the Revolutionary War and the (early) Civil War

          6. By Alexey Shiro on

            //There’s also the Grik artillery firing into troops not used to getting shoot at, with some of the 75s & Maxims getting knocked out, that thins out the fire a bit. //

            With all respect, but Grik muzzle-loading smoothbores haven’t got the range and power to seriously threaten the 75-mm guns.

          7. By Matthieu on

            “The smoke, plus the tactics of all piling into one section of the Republic lines would have been enough to locally overwhelm the guns & allowed some of the Grik to survive long enough to close with the Republican line at that particular point.”

            This is probably a good way of seeing it.

            My problem with numbers is that Grik casualties are too light at the beginning when you consider the amount of firepower. The density of fire is far above anything that you can imagine. If you say that there were only 120 guns on the line, there are 30 guns per kilometer. It’s an incredibly high density.
            That’s why something must have been wrong somewhere: fuses in shells or something like that.

          8. By Justin on

            Jungle terrain tends to reduce artillery’s effectiveness. I doubt the Republic will make that mistake again.

          9. By Matt on

            Maybe it was just inexperience on the part of the reuplic artillery crews? We know the army was mostly made up of amateurs who had no real combat experience. We know their army is modeled after the roman one with little centralized control and most power being in the hands of individual field commanders. What are the chances that they treated gunnery practice much like the USN did before WW2? We don’t want to spend money firing off rounds, that’s “wasteful” and when they do practice it’s at fixed targets with a known range.

            Shooting at a target with a fixed range that isn’t shooting back is very different from shooting at a moving army that is at unknown or estimated range, that is obscured by smoke and actively trying to kill you.

            I think this is what happened. As things go on and the troops start to learn from the Union how war really works they should get better.

          10. By Lou Schirmer on

            //With all respect, but Grik muzzle-loading smoothbores haven’t got the range and power to seriously threaten the 75-mm guns.//

            With even more respect, it depends on the muzzle loaders. One kilometer is usually within their range. Perhaps not real accurate at that range, if the barrels & shot aren’t true, but enough to put balls or grape shot into the Republic line. Plus balls skip or roll farther after hitting the ground on a flat trajectory. Ask Taylor or William.

          11. By Lou Schirmer on

            //That’s why something must have been wrong somewhere: fuses in shells or something like that.//

            You’re probably right about the fuses Matthieu. I can’t really tell if the Republic was using contact or timed fuses. With rapid fire, they may have been going with contact & on a flat trajectory the fuses may not have been set off reliably. Plus impact with the ground would tend to limit the shrapnel spread as opposed to air bursts with time fuses. Also some of the Derby guns were firing at the Grik batteries, which if they were the standard 9 pounders, had plenty of range to hit the Republic lines. Specs pages say their range is 1,200 yards, or about 1,150 meters. The Grik were firing case shot (pg. 255) which would tend to keep Republics soldiers heads down to.

    3. By donald johnson on

      //We will assume that it’s worse than the true 75mm. According to the book, the range is 3000m (far less than the real one: 6500m).//
      most likely the range is limited by the powder they use. with powder that the allies use it will probably improve. the max elevation the gun is allowed has a lot of affect on range and this may be a factor also.

      there is a very good book describing the weapons used in WWI and early 20’s.

      https://books.google.com/books?id=CO41AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA644&lpg=PA644&dq=maximum+elevation+with+french+75&source=bl&ots=zyWFlYyazb&sig=rpYVV9SgverUFjKI9mwbOxqCbDY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj0v7PCvePUAhUG9GMKHXZ3BtUQ6AEIMTAD#v=onepage&q&f=false

      Reply
    4. By William Curry on

      There was a learning curve for the QF field guns like the French 75 and the German 7.7cm. This is the first time the Republic has used them in a large battle and they are still trying to use them like old fashioned artillery. That was how they were used at first in the Great War, firing shrapnel at masses of men. The QF guns also had limited elevation and were not able to be used for indirect fire like a howitzer. The original intent for these guns was to fire at open sights at infantry, like they are being used. I suspect that they will learn in future books how best to employ them. Infantry tactics also have to adapt to the new weapons. In a short period the infantry won’t be lining up in mass to be shot at. Taylor knows the history of how tactics changed in response to new weapons and I think you will see it unfold in the next books.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Going to be interesting to see what the NUS could do with them, if they got their hands on on. Just the thing to mount on small steamships going up the Mississippi and its tributaries.

        Reply
  18. By Justin on

    Alright, now for the REALLY big one. Exactly what will the Union do with their big new (slightly used) battleship?

    Here’s what I’ve got:
    1) Tow Savoie up to Mahe for repairs, as planned.
    2) If her engines can be repaired, move to Step 3. If not, Step 4.
    3) Sail her to Sofesshk, cover the landings. If she survives, move to Step 4.

    4) Refit her at Baalkpan, get her operation against the League. She needs a new name, too… how about Oklahoma?
    5) The Cape of Good Hope is the higher priority; moor her in Alex-aandra, have the Republic’s entire Bureau of Ships taking notes, take her out to sea as necessary.
    6) Once the Republic’s commissioned their capital ships, sail her back across to the Pacific to plug El Paso del Fuego.
    7) Repeat 6 and 7 as necessary.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      As for the refit, Walker-type machinery – again, depending on whose numbers are right – could get Savoie up to anywhere between 46K to 104K horsepower. That’s 24-28 knots for only 12 boilers instead of 18-24.

      Here’s Lorraine; just swap out the amidships turret with a catapult, and you’ve got Savoiehttps://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints-depot/ships/battleships-france/nmf-lorraine-1916-battleship.png

      So, they can gut the extra boilers (and possibly the boat deck), bring the aft funnel up front to merge with the fore, and then use all the extra space for something else. They could build her another Q-turret, but I’m guessing it’ll be more AA guns and fuel bunkers and a new catapult instead.

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        Savoie is only grounded. Once she is floated she should be good to go. She may need minor repairs to her bottom but other than that unless the props really got jammed in the mud and sand all they will need is bags of powder and shells.
        If the props got jammed she may need repairs to her reduction gears. Personally if I had been the designer I would have put pins in the shaft that would break so damage to the gears would be minimized. Not having been a machinist mate I do not know if this is done to save gears and props.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          She also took two torpedoes in the port side (one in the port quarter & one “almost directly under the aft flagstaff”), so as a minimum, her rudder is jammed with possible damage to her port screws, not to mention flooding.

          Reply
        2. By Steve Moore on

          Shear pins in the shaft. Reminds me of my old Evinrude 18.

          Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        She’s also going to need a main battery fire control system. They’ve already adapted one of Amagi’s to the CL, but that was probably a secondary battery director. Though that would be better than nothing, it probably wouldn’t be good out to the ranges of Savoie’s 13.5″ guns.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          Seems they got rid of the FC computer as well. That’s easy enough to fix. Just use one patterned on Walker’s re calibrated for her guns and shells. The director is going to be harder work. Does anyone have experience with grinding glass that big? The Brits seem to have a decent optics industry but the difficulty of grinds increases a great deal with the size of the lense. Directors are a much bigger challenge than hand held telescopes. Perhaps they have done larger ones for astronomy work? Hawaii is a good place for it and many of the “nobility” seem to fashion themselves as scholars part time. We may be in luck.

          Making ammo shouldn’t be too hard. We have smokeless powder now although not all smokeless powder is the same. See the troubled development of the M-16 for proof. They are going to have to do some experenting with burn time and pressure curves to get the performance they want without blowing the guns up. Not impossible but it will take time to dial in and until then we are left with the ammo she has and maybe some ersatz black powder charges. I foresee a repeat of what happened to Walker’s guns while they improved that tech.

          Another issue is keeping the guns in good order. The Union has experience making rifled liners already but again, scale matters. Making them for 4inchers is a different matter to 13.5s. It will require some work.

          The silver lining here is I don’t think we have to have all of this done tomorrow. Even with crippled or dead engines Savoie is capable of fighting off any Grik attempts on her easily. The armor makes her immune to anything they have and the secondaries and AA weapons mean that boarding attempts are suicide. Remember what happened when the Grik first met Amagi. They lost a lot a waves attacking her to no effect before they gave up. She doesn’t need to be at 100% to contribute to the attack on Soffeshk. They could tow her to a good position off shore and she can provide long range bombardment. After that I agree, it’s time for some serious refit and study work. The ship is valuable for a multitude of reasons. There’s not just the combat potential but also the value as a learning aide not to mention the boost to Union technology and industry that will come from repairing her. They learned a lot from raising Walker. They stand to continue to learn by studying and repairing Savoie.

          I vote we name her either Texas or Arizona. Both names have great meaning to the crew. Texas is not only the Skipper’s home but was and is a great battleship. Arizona has obvious meaning. A new name is important though. Names carry a lot of weight and it will be important to give her a new one to symbolize her new lease on life.

          Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Yeah, that’s what I thought – check the book’s silhouette again.

          She’s still in her WWI configuration, just with four turrets and a catapult instead of five turrets.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Nevermind – she’s got her tripod and fighting top, but they’re more like an interwar design. And there’s four cranes. Strange…

          2. By Matt on

            Many WW1 BBs went through more than one refit and modernization between and during the wars. It’s entirely plausible that the French leadership took a different approach to that in this world than they did ours.

    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      //4) Refit her at Baalkpan, get her operation against the League. She needs a new name, too… how about Oklahoma?//

      Remember, no operational ship names. She was sunk at Pearl Harbor, Salvaged but too damaged to repair, sold for scrape & sunk in a storm (squall?) while being towed to the scrap yard.

      How about USS Redemption? USS Revenge? USS Retribution?

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Technically, it’s only the actual Oklahoma that can’t show up here; renaming an existing ship after her should be fine.

        Went with Okie because she doesn’t have a memorial, and Gray lost a kid there. Revenge sounds good, if only because the first two went to the bottom… actually, the name might be cursed, so probably Retribution.

        Reply
      2. By donald j johnson on

        If she was sunk while being towed to scrapyard then what is to prevent her from showing up here in taylors universe. She will drift and show up on CA coast somewhere as a wreck.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Apparently, the torpedo hole patchwork gave way. Regular squall or transfer squall, she was headed for the bottom no matter what.

          Reply
        2. By Matt on

          We aren’t getting ships that actually served in WW2. Taylor said he would avoid that because he felt it disrespectful and I agree. Oklahoma served in WW2 so we aren’t getting her. They can rename Savoie Oklahoma but we aren’t getting the real deal.

          Reply
      3. By Alexey Shiro on

        Let’s just keep the “Savoie” as name. Why should they need to rename her?

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Because “USS Savoie” sounds weird both in-universe and out of universe – and why should they be using the enemy’s names anyway?

          Pretty sure they’d have renamed Hidoiame too, if they got her intact.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            USS Adar, starting a new naming convention for Presidents/Chairmen. Going to be a pretty small class anyway… and let’s leave Amerika for the RRP.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, because when the USA comissioned captured warships (granted, they weren’t since XIX century) they generally tend to left the old name.

            For example, ships capured during Spanish-American war were comissioned without renaming. The most obvious example is USS “Reina Mercedes”.

            So, the general tradition of USN – and for quite a long time, since the USN was actually established! – was to left the old names. I think, it may be even symbolic – “you would not forget, that this ship is now our. We take her from you.”

            That’s why I think “Savoie” should just be USS “Savoie”

          3. By Matt on

            They renamed the Horst Wessel when it was captured.

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            //They renamed the Horst Wessel when it was captured.//

            She became coast guard vessel in US service, not Navy.

          5. By Justin on

            There’s a precedent for either side; during the Civil War and War of 1812, both sides frequently captured and renamed enemy vessels (Merrimack to Virginia, etc). It seems to depend on whether the Navy likes the name or not.

          6. By Steve Moore on

            Waiting for Silva to accuse Gunny Horn of … “Stompin’ on the Savoie”. Just couldn’t resist that…

    3. By Justin on

      Whoops, I think we’ve all overlooked something – the Allies are going to have as much trouble crewing Savoie as Kurokawa was.

      So far, Gunny Horn’s the only one with any BB experience. Even if they only use her as a floating battery at Sofesshk, that’s a barebones engineering department and one just guy training just four turret crews.
      … So if the mystery U-Boat decides to sneak in and put torps up her ass, or the Grik get close enough to rush her, then either a skeleton crew has to repel boarders or control flooding, or Savoie needs as many ships escorting her as bombarding the Grik. She may prove more of a liability than an asset next book.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Plus “A” turret only has one gun, since Gunny put a 13.5″ round into the other one. She’ll probably spend the next book refitting, repairing & training a crew back at Balkpaan.

        Reply
        1. By Clifton Sutherland on

          Agree- just think of trying to crew, let alone repair her. I feel we could end up with a situation where the costs to make her effective are too high for the interim, and she becomes sort of like a hanger queen (harbor queen?) that needs so much work its better to put training and material resources towards things the Union can actually use.

          Reply
        2. By Steve Moore on

          RRP has plenty of monitor crewmen experienced in big turrets. Bring some of the spare Empire seamen (and women) down and have them learn on the rehab job. Plus, that brings some more women to dangle in front of the Japanese and Leaguer POWs….

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Rebuild her in Alexandraa. That gives the RRP a BIG head start on their blue water navy, and even if she only patrols from the harbor, that’s still one hell of a coastal defense vessel.

          2. By Clifton Sutherland on

            Ha, the old Honey Pot tactic to entice cooperation from the enemy!

  19. By Steve Moore on

    Just thinking about electric ignition for those muzzle loaders; now that they have wire, case shot and crank generators, wonder when some bright soul will invent claymore mines? Not just defensive measures, claymores would be nice to have if you’re ambushing someone…

    Wonder what the hell it is I put in my tunafish sandwich to come up with that idea? The jalapenos?

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Claymores are about as simple as it gets. You could make one out of black powder & rocks if you had to. Black powder would probably need a bit of confinement or hard backing (boulder, side of hill etc.) to be effective beyond a few yards. Could even go with percussion caps & hammer ignition.

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        hand grenades with pins make good claymores. string on the pin and a trip wire.

        Reply
      2. By Clifton Sutherland on

        Oh my Lou, now I’m thinking of those ridiculous rock and coconut mines in the Disney Swiss Family Robinson movie!

        Reply
  20. By Steve Moore on

    Thinking about what the French contingent of the CES would have been flying; the MS 406 was in service, but the D.250 didn’t come on until 1940, according to wikpedia. Looks like it used the Hispano 12Y engine as well as the MM.

    Just curious, wonder where Portugal stood in the era of the CES?

    Reply
    1. By Matt on

      They haven’t been mentioned so either they are a smaller member that wasn’t party to the invasion force or perhaps completely uninvolved in the war. The CES was probably focussed on the British because they were the biggest thing standing in their way to their expansionist goals. The portugese wouldn’t have been and probably either fell in line or had been dealt with through bully diplomacy.

      Reply
    2. By Justin on

      My money’s on D.500s and 510s – the 520’s predecessors. MB.131 bombers, if the Alliance is really unlucky.

      We know that Portugal didn’t go fascist, because they aren’t even a second-class League member like the Germans… but as an Allied or neutral power, the League would’ve had to invade in order to close off Gibraltar. My money’s on “occupied territory.”

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        as Spain is near Gibraltar and not Portugal, they may not be involved at all. They stayed neutral in our WWII and probably same in this world. they will most likely still be communist and ignored by spain as minor.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          And even in OTL, the Germans were planning to invade Portugal (to choke Britain), and the Allies were planning to invade the Azores (to deny the U-Boats).

          The problem is that silly little things like “sovereignty” and “neutrality” don’t really matter to superpowers that want a strategic advantage.

          Reply
      2. By Steve White on

        French also flew the Curtis P-36 Hawk (model 75) in 1940, and that was available starting in about early 1939.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          I doubt that in League Origin World – where CES was in war with United States as early as in 1939! – this may have place.

          Reply
      3. By Matt on

        If it’s D.500s and 510s then the Union has nothing to worry about. They have similar performance to the P1Cs. My money is on MS.406s

        Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      Some interesting details in the article; shipping to the Abyssinian campaign by ship, simple and robust construction, and easily serviced in the field.

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        We could see them. The question of multiengined bombers for the League is an interesting one because I doubt the invasion force would have carried too many with them. The CA.111 could be but the invasion was there to defeat the British, a modern military with fighters comparable to what the League had. I think a Hurricane would have no problem shooting them down. Bombers are big and even when dismantled and crated take up a lot of space. If they were going to have modern bombers, which I think they were then my money is on them flying out or Sicily to captured airfields in Africa and/or flying out of existing Italian and French holdings on the continent. What bombers the fleet did have would likely be carrier capable aircraft and more useful in a tactical role.

        I could be completely wrong and they did crate over some HE111’s or SM79’s. That Junkers had to come from somewhere after all. I’m just wondering how much of their transport capacity would they dedicate to large bombers instead or men, guns and tanks when the bombers could have flown over once airfields had been seized or prepared?

        Does anyone know how the Germans got their bombers into Africa in the real world? Did Rommel have them shipped over? That could give us insight.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Most would have flown direct; all manner of German planes supporting Rommel flew direct, from Ju 87s to Me 323s. Crating them up would have taken up a lot of space that could have been dedicated to combat loads.

          The existence of the Ju52 is a mystery, though. We’ve seen both a surface and submerged transfer simultaneously (Walker, Mahan, Amagi & S19); and what appears to be a surface & airborne transfer with the Santa Catalina and a Japanese bomber (separately described in DT & DD). However, keeping a plane flying in the ‘squall’ probably required an exceptional pilot, so losses to a flight caught in the storm could have been considerable. So, there could be some other aircraft with longer legs.

          As far as I can surmise, the LOT probably doesn’t have carriers. Gravois sort of indicated they didn’t, and having carriers doesn’t really make much sense to navies operating mostly in the Med, colonial cruisers aside.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            I do not think that the league will have many multi engine aircraft as the only way that they could have any would be as crated craft or as deck carried on a carrier or tanker. The possibility of one being transferred while in flight is very low as unless the league was desperate they would not have had them flying overhead during a storm. as deck cargo they would take lots of space required by other required munitions.

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Agree completely, Don, but if you’re already in the air… not much of a choice if you’re committed to something like invasion support…

          3. By donald johnson on

            Was anyone aware that the attack on Ethiopia by the Italians was via Somalia. This means that the league may actually not be in north Africa but actually in Somalia or the red sea. This would make sense as they would have crated craft for transport around Africa.
            This would make a lot of sense if one thinks about it. They may have moved a majority of their supplies to Tripoli or they may just be lying as to where they really are. This misdirection would make the allies feel safer until they find out where they really are.
            Any other thoughts on this.
            http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-north-africa-campaign.htm

          4. By Justin on

            Could be, but don’t forget that there’s Spanish, French and German contigents too. Without control of the Suez, they’d have to go all the way around Africa – might as well stay in the Mediterranean and invade from there.

            My guess is that the invasion force was in Tripoli and ready to go when the Squall hit them… so any nearby forward airstrips would’ve had their planes transferred over.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            Guys, don’t forget: aerial refueling. It was known pre-war.

  21. By Lou Schirmer on

    One thing the Alliance might consider is using sabot rounds in their larger smoothbore naval cannons & shore batteries. Instead of firing a round ball or fused ball shell, a sub caliber fused fin stabilized conical shell would still be fairly accurate & their range would be significantly higher. This is assuming the cannon bores are standard & bored truly smooth. They could use the new round in their older ships against the Doms & Grik & pound them from outside their opponents range, instead of slugging it out at short range. Against an armored target, they could go with just a solid steel bolt for penetration. It would be a cheap & quick way to increase the capabilities of the steam frigates & liners.
    Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. By Clifton Sutherland on

      Again, that seems like a tricky process, and the current strain of thought is more geared towards “make overall better stuff in the future, and make do now, rather than attempt to continuously update and play catchup with what we already have”. Unless some of the gun people here think sabots are not that hard to produce? Would they even work in a smoothbore cannon?

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Most current tank main cannon are smoothbores firing Armor-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding-Sabot (APFSDS) rounds, so they will work. It depends on whether they think of it. The sabots are fairly easy to make, as would be a solid bolt. A fused round could be made from a 4″ HE or AP round machined to accept a screwed or pinned on fin to stabilize it. Current APFSDS penetrators look like arrows, but for our folks using black powder a thicker bolt would probably be better.

        Taylor discussed in a previous thread using sabots in his cannon with pipes filled with cement as penetrators & two pieces of wood holding it shoved into the barrel. Apparently, it worked out nicely.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armour-piercing_fin-stabilized_discarding_sabot

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Actually, I don’t use sabots in the rifle. The pipe body of the projectile has lead inserts. The nose is suitably tapered and the skirt is hollow–turning the whole thing into , basically, a Minie bullet. We use sabots in the smoothbore under roundshot–as everybody did throughout the 19th century. The sabot compresses and expands under the shot when it fires, filling the windage in the bore, keeping the shot centered, and serving as a gas check. A proper sabot keeps roundshot nearly as accurate as a rifle out to @500yds

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Didn’t know they used sabots in smoothbore cannon back then. I thought they used wads to seat the ball. Maybe that was earlier.

            Would a sub-caliber sabot round significantly increase the range of a smooth bore cannon & still be accurate enough to be worth it?

          2. By Matt on

            @Lou

            They did but not in the way we do now. It’s a good example of taking inspiration from an old idea and using to develop a completely new technology.

          3. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Wads were used at sea, beneath the shot to serve as a kind of gas seal sabot, and on top to keep the shot from rolling out. Unfortunately, any elongated projectile would have to be “spun up” to stabilize it. Otherwise, it would tumble radically and be less accurate that a naked roundshot just rolled down the barrel. No way to keep the pointy end toward the target. Even roundshot will “hook” eventually, but tumbling won’t affect it’s trajectory nearly as much since it is round. :) And the main thing that causes noticeable hooking within effective ranges is voids or other imperfections in the shot. And if the sabot fails somehow.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            So much for that idea.

            Ever try a round nose & teardrop tail to increase range? With the weight forward already, it should be fairly stable & a bit more aerodynamic than a round shot or cylinder.

    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      Sabots aren’t that hard to produce, but fin-stabilized shell… I’m afraid, it’s far outside the Alliance current capability. The aerodynamic of fin-stabilized shells are pretty tough, must admit.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        I’m not saying they’re going to be hugely accurate, but it should increase the range of a smooth bore cannon. The fin stabilized shell may be pushing it, but a solid penetrating bolt of 3-4″ shouldn’t be.
        I believe some tests may be in order on the Texas proving grounds. :)

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          Early APDS were not fin stabilized. That came later on. The problem is that standard APDS is still spin stabilized by the gun’s rifling whereas APFSDS is stabilized by the fins and used in smooth bores. Alexey is right, it’s not as simple as adding fins and calling it a day. They are stabilized like arrows with fletching. It’s more like a rocket. Not impossible but it would take some development work. I also wonder how effective sabots will be against wooden ships. With conventional round shot and even early explsovoe the biggest damaging effect was the creation of wooden shrapnel splinters from the impact. It would fly everywhere and scythe the crew down with horrible injuries. A sabot round would make a smaller clean holes with less shrapnel. Sabots get their killing effect from disentigrating after penetration. I don’t know if the union can be precise enough with their metallurgy to consistently offer that kind of effect. The effect is also best in small enclosed space like the inside of an armored vehicle. Not the gun deck of a ship.

          It might give them a range advantage but do little actual damage and take up magazine space that could otherwise be used for more effective weapons.

          What I think would be far more effective is something like the Hotchkiss QF 6 pounder. It’s much lighter than a 32 pounder smoothbore and has an effective range of 4000 yards. You could replace them 1:1 with the muzzle loaders on wooden ships in some sort of limited traverse fixed mount through the gun ports and have some insane fire power.

          A more practical solution would be to razee the existing wooden DDs and place several topside. They would have reduced arcs of fire compared to guns on Walker due to the shape and design of a wooden steam ship but it shouldn’t matter since the range of the guns far out perform anything the Dominion has.

          The old 3 incher from Walker would be a good starting point. It actually outranges the Hotchkiss QF 6 pounder and is lighter and we have a working example to base copies off of. It would also give the DDs realistic AA capability. HE shells from those would make quick work of any wooden ship. The old muzzle loaders can be recycled as shore battery guns at the various ports and outposts the Union has made in South America and would be useful in defending against any surprise attacks by the Dominion.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          //A proper sabot keeps roundshot nearly as accurate as a rifle out to @500yds//

          It may not even have to be fin stabilized. They might be able to just put a sabot around a standard 4″ shell & load it in one of the 50 pound cannon. It might even fit into a 32 pounder. If not then a 3″ sabot round. That would be an extremely fast way to extend the range of the current smooth bore cannon & still do heavy damage with the explosive shell. All it would cost is some wood for the sabots & production of more -34″ shells. They’d need to conduct tests to establish the ballistics & accuracy.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            3-4″ shells not -34″, sorry.

          2. By Steve Moore on

            How did they convert the Amagi 10″ shells they were using as aerial bombs at Madras?

            Never having seen a 4″ shell, assume it’s a solid base; could you just machine and thread a hole you could screw a fin unit into? They were using 4″ shells for aerial bombs too, I believe.

            The alternative approach would be to put rifled liners into the guns (already being produced for the 4″ and 5.5″?) and have the sabot spin a standard shell.

            I do like the idea of QF guns better, though, moving ahead to newer technology rather than trying to extend the old technology. Nice thing about those guns, can also easily be dismounted and brought ashore to support an amphibious assault. Don’t know if any of you are Horatio Hornblower or Richard Bolitho fans, but the descriptions of hauling even a Long Nine on shore sounded difficult.

          3. By Matt on

            //How did they convert the Amagi 10″ shells they were using as aerial bombs at Madras?

            They stuck fins on the back. For a sabot it isn’t that simple though. If you are just making a bomb the fins are really there just to create enough drag on the tail to make sure the bombs fall nose down as well as preventing any undesirable ossiclations like spin or tumble.

            For a fin stabilized sabot you are dealing with something with a much thinner aspect ratio, more even weight distrobution and instead of just falling where you drop it you want it to fly where you shoot it. That’s much harder to do. Not impossible but it takes development. Without any physcisits or aerodynamisists handy the Union would need a lot of trial and error to get it right. That means time which they don’t have a lot of.

            //I do like the idea of QF guns better, though, moving ahead to newer technology rather than trying to extend the old technology.

            100% agree. I think mass production of the 3inch guns would serve them much better in the short and long term. Its something they can do now with little work and there was talk of basing new land artillery on it as well which means we can save a lot on productivity with a commonality of production and parts.

            On top of that APFSDS was a technology that was developed over time in many steps. It traces its roots back to APCR rounds used by both sides in WW2. Someone then got the idea of combining APCR with the concept of sabots after promising research was done on sub-caliber munitions and then more work was done to give it tin stabilization. APFSDS wasn’t perfected and introduced until the 1960’s and the main drive for using smoothbores was greater performance with HEAT. APFSDS actually became the primary anti tank round later after further development. The first rounds used a steel penetrator not the tungsten carbide or DU ones we are familiar with.

            These rounds are specially optimized for a specific kind of target. Heavily armored vehicles or structures with small interiors such as tanks and pillboxes. There’s a reason you don’t see naval guns using them. A sabot round, even a really big one, won’t do much to an Arleigh Burke. Not nearly as much damage as a conventional HE round or the fragmentary warhead from an ASM.

            Sorry if I got long winded there. I noticed my replies can run really long.

          4. By Justin on

            Please, we’ve seen WAY longer! Use as much text as you need.

            Chack’s also thinking about a cannon for the tanks. I’ll say it again: cut the “turtle shell” down to a casemate, shuffle the MGs around, mount a 3″/23 (or 3″/50, if it improves ballistics), and boom – assault gun!

        3. By Lou Schirmer on

          I agree the APFSDS idea was pushing it, but still think a saboted sub-munition round out of a smooth bore cannon would increase the range without an entirely new weapon system being built. Using a standard 4″ shell with a sabot out of a heavy naval cannon should work well against the Grik & Doms & could be deployed almost immediately without creating an entirely new production line. They could still bring in the older ships in to modify for 3″ or 4″ rapid fire guns as they become available, but that would take time & this could be a good interim measure to increase their range & firepower.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            With reduced resources, I’d go for the 3″, the 75mm Derby gun or even doing a ‘Silva’ with the 25mm and create a twin 40 mount. That’s about all you need to rip up a wooden ship; a rapid rate of fire and tracers to correct aim (and ignite loose powder). Even putting a twin 25mm on an elevated tub amidships would give some of the DD’s a pretty good punch to keep enemy gun crews down.

  22. By Clifton Sutherland on

    Not really a spoiler,

    Do we get a measurement of whether or not the Grik casualty rates are improving over the course of the war? Not necessary losses, but the chance of individual Grik surviving injuries. I know in the first couple of books they usually all died or ran away, but now, with Halik modernizing his thought, and the creation of the actual Grik army, do you think the Grik will attempt to introduce combat medicine and care? Or will the cookpots still be well stocked?

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      I think Haalik might with Niwa as an advisor. Esshk? Not so much.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Dunno, anything more than a minor wound and I think both Griks would be whistling “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”.

        Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        He did his best with Niwa & seems to feel pretty protective of his troops, so I don’t see why not. Granted, with severe wounds, he would probably give them the mercy stroke.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Well, might be a difference between GENERAL Niwa and SPEARCARRIER Glub. But anyway, Griks probably can’t whistle anyway.

          Reply
          1. By Clifton Sutherland on

            hey now, Spearcarrier Glub earned a medal of Valor 2nd class (with crossed swords) for his heroic efforts to eat prey at Tjill-chaap.

            Don’t mock our lizardy veterans!

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Unfortunately for the Grik, the usual reward at retirement is a hot bath… a VERY HOT bath. Thank you for your service, Glub. Hey, Cookmaster Garp! This stew, I mean BATH, needs more num-num root.

  23. By Steve Moore on

    Well, to help keep a few secrets of DD unspoiled for another few days, I was sitting eating a sandwich at lunch and regarding my antique tractor calendar, when it struck me… TRACTORS.

    We’ve been talking about half-tracks, prime movers and trucks.. but what about simple tractors? Use cast-off zep motors, or W/G engines for larger ones, but you’d have something to pull freight wagons with, something to pull rollers across airstrips, move artillery and just about any other freighting role. Pulling portable sawmills AHEAD of the RRP railway corp, cutting ties and stockpiling them ahead so that supply trains can bring more rails instead of ties.

    Not to mention farming. Motorize farming, and all of a sudden Austraal becomes an agricultural powerhouse. They’re really not sailors, not as much as the Home ‘Cats, and would probably take quickly to operating a Motor Corps, since it would give them an industry to develop for post-war future.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Sounds like a plan. Put prongs on the front like the Sherman Rhino, and it can clear undergrowth too.

      Reply
    2. By Clifton Sutherland on

      Or flails like the Sherman Crab, and it can clear Griks too :)

      Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          I agree, my idea was more rear-area and home front moving of heavy goods, not to mention agricultural use. Back a few books, Matt Reddy was complaining about farming by hand.

          Although I’m glad that the ‘steam wagons’ turned into trains, just the thing for the RRP and their industries.

          Reply
  24. By donald johnson on

    as it is over 5000 km from Tripoli to Zanzibar has anyone considered the logistics of getting a group of aircraft to Zanzibar. they would almost have to have an aircraft carrier of some kind. Kurakawa may have sent one of his to the red sea and carried them to Zanzibar (not likely) or the logistic ship that Ready allowed to return may have carried them boxed to Zanzibar.
    I can not see any way he could have transferred them any other way as he would have had to build at least 10 airports along the way along with their support facility’s. This would take years and use up much needed supplies and also might bring them into conflict with the grik.
    Does anyone have any other ideas as to how this could have been done.

    Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      The Ju52 flew in from somewhere. We don’t know where the League is; my guess is that they are in Egypt, since they’d need to have some kind of agriculture to provide rations. Maybe a FOB up the Nile? Ju52 only has a range of 600 miles, but it had a light passenger load, so probably room for more gas. That’s the quickest way I can see planes getting to Zanzibar. And don’t forget that Gravois had Fiedler doing recon flights, possibly prior to the initial contact?

      Gravois, at one point a book or two back, was regretting the fact the League had no carriers; the Med-centric members of the League would put more faith in landplanes and naval strength, I would think. The Germans, being the most ‘technically developed’, really would have no need for a carrier, since they’d have to get by England to get into blue water, and landplanes could control the Baltic and North Sea. If the LOT has no carriers; then no carrier-capable a/c.

      My guess is that there’s a forward base in East Africa, inland to avoid any contact with Grik. And then a base on the banks of the Nile, serviced by shallow draft barges/tugs.

      Reply
      1. By donald j johnson on

        Well 500-mile range would mean they still need to have several airports or they need to build a good Airport within the 500-mile range of Zanzibar. As this is all Greek control territory there is a problem. Unless they were already friends with a Greg the grik would have attacked them on site if they are in their territory. My suspicions are that they were planning on building an airport on Christmas Island and transported their main aircraft to Christmas Island or at least in the process of doing so when they were diverted to Zanzibar they may have already built the airport on Christmas Island or at least the refueling facilities were made. How far is it from Christmas Island to Zanzibar I’m going to have to check.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Christmas is over by Australia & south of Indonesia. Probably 2k miles give or take.

          Reply
          1. By donald j johnson on

            Actually probably closer to five thousand kilometers so it’s only good as a threat that is looking for ships going through the Straits between Indonesian Islands but as those are only 280 miles from Christmas Island it’s probably a very sufficient threat if they wish to block our ships and we didn’t know they were there

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Be a nice staging base for flights to Australia. Also for local patrolling.

    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      //Does anyone have any other ideas as to how this could have been done.//

      Most aircraft of the time flew off grass strips. With enough scouting for suitable strips ahead of time, they could stage down by land with JU-52s ferrying fuel, spares & ground crews. That assumes they didn’t run into the Grik somewhere, although with machine guns & aircraft, they would be able to keep them away until they moved on. The local Grik Regent wouldn’t have time to collect a “swarm” & may not even find out until they were gone again.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Agree with you, Lou. Much less complex needs on the logistics end than today, or even Korean war era. Wonder if they have any Storch aircraft, speaking of spotting. That’d be a nice type aircraft for the Alliance to build, lots of aerial recon needs in both theaters. Not to mention exploration east of St Francis.

        Think the next book will need a map showing Central and Northern Africa. The LOT can’t be staging down into East Africa without controlling Egypt and the entire Med, so my guess is that they are probably in the coastal areas we know as Syria, Lebanon & Israel, maybe even up into the Black Sea looking for more oil. Plus, plenty of islands they can use as floating ‘carriers’ free from attack.

        Reply
  25. By Justin on

    Laney’s expressed significant interest in the Grik AA rockets… assuming this goes anywhere, how soon would we see Union Nebelwerfers? Or Z Batteries; would unguided blackpowder rockets even work against piston-prop aircraft?

    Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      Glad to see someone else is joining the Raketenkorps. Cheap to build, lighter weight,and multipurpose.

      Reply
    2. By Matt on

      Would be cool and potentially very useful. If they could refine the time fuses and the fragmentation warheads you could have a very cheap and effective low tech version of steel rain. I could see batteries of those shredding Grik troops.

      Reply
    3. By Justin on

      Could they still be useful in their original anti-air role, or do WWII aircraft fly too fast and too high for that?

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        I’d forget the Z batteries and anti-air; you’ve got 50 cals and 4″50s for that, and time-fused fuses already (from the 3″23). Using rockets in the artillery or HVAR role, all you need is contact fuses, maybe shaped charge warheads if you’re going ship-hunting. Much more efficient in the use of your rockets, much better chance of hitting something that’s moving a LOT slower. Now that most of the P-40’s are gone, though, need to find a way to keep rocket exhausts from burning up wings (maybe plywood on bottom of wings, or standoff rails?)

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          I wouldn’t try air rockets until the planes are made out of something a little less flammable.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            agree. thats why it would have been nice to have metal-winged P-40’s. Both the Russians and NZ used rocket-firing P-40’s, believe USAAF also did in China.

          2. By donald j johnson on

            A thin layer of iron or a layer of plywood at least five ply should be good too avoid the exhaust also placing the rockets on pylons a foot or more below the wing will help. A standard pylon that is designed to handle rockets and bombs with two or three on each Wing will make the aircraft more versatile.

          3. By donald j johnson on

            Also a tube like a baxooka with a very high short time launching nurst would work. If they were set up to explode at a 200 – 300 yard range if they miss the enemy can be damaged by a near miss

      2. By Alexey Shiro on

        //Could they still be useful in their original anti-air role, or do WWII aircraft fly too fast and too high for that?//

        With proximity fuse – maybe. As far as I could recall, the REME designed IR- and photoactive proximity fuses (the first reacted to the infrared radiation from engine of aircraft, the second – to the change of light intensity, when aircraft’s shadow fall over rocket) – but I’m not sure they were ever tested in action.

        Eventually, REME just decided to go with guided missiles – initially they tried to just put the control system (command guidance, or beam-rider) on the standard 3-inch rocket. Since the rocket wasn’t powerfull enough, they started to build a new missile – the “Brakemine”, which was tested in 1945-1947/

        Reply
  26. By Matt on

    Ok so Macchi-Messerschmitts, several were downed in the battle for Zanzibar. The Union is in a hurry to packuo and get back to Madagascar but that is going to take some time. It would be really nice if they could locate a wreck or two and study/scavenge them. Not sure how much information they are going to learn from those hispano engines but it could give them nice Intel on the league not to mention help Been determine more about their capabilities. They could probably learn a lot from seeing how well those planes were maintained. Are they using oil and coolants from their world or have they developed local replacements. What does that say about their supply of consumables and how well they can field their aircraft and keep them combat ready?

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Yeah, way too many unknowns.

      The Union should also start anticipating other threats from the League; if they have 109s, they likely have 110s as well. Kiss the Clippers goodbye.

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        110s are a possibility and scary. They didn’t make great day fighters in our world but up against union aircraft they really will earn their name, destroyer. The Germans likely have 109s or something similar. We know they are Messerschmitts with Daimler Benz engines so to compare with out world that makes them likely 109Es or something similar. The earlier model 109s we’re powered by Junkers engines but they switched to the superior DB601 as soon as it became available. Given that this was a major invasion fleet meant to fight a decisive campaign it’s likely they came with the best that was available. We are looking at around 1000hp on tap give or take, probably give, and either 4 8mm MGs or two and two 20mm cannons. The all MG layout is sufficient against union aircraft and the cannons mean anything flying, the P-40’s out of it for now, will go down with one squirt.

        The Italian versions that Ben faced at Zanzibar are actually probably the weaker version. My guess is they have Hispano 12Y engines which are a little down on power compared to the DBs and the armament isn’t great. It works but the Breda 50 is puny compared to the 50BMG and the 7.7 likely can’t penetrate the cockpit armor of a P-40. It can shred wings and damage the engine though. Up against the regular Union fighters it doesn’t matter much though. It’s still a crap ton of firepower and they are way above P1s.

        One solid advantage the Union has right now is they have a lot more pilots who are experienced recently with combat and quite a few aces. I’m sure the league pilots are good and they surely have “modern” combat experience but my guess is the majority haven’t had a taste of action in a few years. They are probably rusty. To our knowledge before the union and Kurokawa nobody else even had aircraft for them to fight. I think it helps explain why the not-109 pilots went down as quick as they did. I’d rate the 109 a better dog fighter than the P-40 any day but the P-40s ended up winning out probably because Ben’s squad were just better fighter jocks. So that’s some small consolation. The league also likely can’t make up losses easily. Even if they have managed to keep their fighters well maintained they can’t make more yet and it will be years before a new generation is raised to replenish numbers. So in a war of attrition they lose.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Sure, but first the Allies need to be capable of causing attrition in the first place. 109 or 110, the “Macchischmitts” (ten bucks says it’s a Silvaism next book) outclass P-1Bs as easily as Me 262s against P-40s.

          And of course (however unlikely), the League might have been building geared-down fighters somewhere else…

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Considering how League generally treated the Lemurians (and Griks, actually), they probably established some sort of “multi-level citizenship” on controlled territories.

            1st class – full citizens, with all civil rights – League outworld personnel, their direct decendants, and valuable locals

            2nd class – limited citizenship, with reduced rights – loyal local human population, probably some lemurians also.

            3rd class – non-citizens – conquered and not considered loyal local human & lemurian population.

          2. By donald j johnson on

            Well considering the fact that they are outclassed but in a sneak attack similar to that of Pearl Harbor coming in low and fast they can catch him on the ground they may be able to take out the whole fighter Force if lucky. No matter how good they are on the ground they’re sitting ducks. Catch them on the ground and they can’t do a thing to you

          3. By Matt on

            The next step will be moving from fabric covered airframes to plywood surfaces. They still won’t be monocoques but the British managed to make perfectly good fighters this way fully knowing in the event of all out war their supply of aluminum would be cut off. They are still going to need better engine tech though. Hopefully work is starting on better designs to counter the league aircraft.

          4. By Donald Johnson on

            And just how much control of the air did the Japanese have while sneaking in at Pearl Harbor. None

          5. By Justin on

            Pearl Harbor was conducted by a modern carrier group at a time when the aggressor declared war only half an hour beforehand.
            If Kimmel knew he was at war, wouldn’t he have ready AA crews, fighter patrols and torpedo nets? Wouldn’t he have dispersed his planes so that they wouldn’t all get wiped in a few passes?

            Suggesting the same would work against the League underestimates their alertness and strength, overestimates Allied carriers and air power, and assumes that there’s one big base where they keep all their fighters in one spot.

            Gradual night bombing might work (if the League has no night fighters), but only with really good dead reckoning.

          6. By Matthieu on

            “If Kimmel knew he was at war, wouldn’t he have ready AA crews, fighter patrols and torpedo nets? Wouldn’t he have dispersed his planes so that they wouldn’t all get wiped in a few passes?”

            Yes and no. It’s a complicated problem: if they had been caught at sea, US forces would have probably been sunk and would have lost many more men.

            The best condition would have probably be a 2 hours warning: enough to prepare planes, to get many airborne, to get direction from the radar, to have fully manned ships under condition Z … but still in the harbor and protected. Nets wouldn’t have been deployed (people were thinking that the harbor was too shallow) but Japanese planes would really really have a hard time…

          7. By Lou Schirmer on

            //Sure, but first the Allies need to be capable of causing attrition in the first place. 109 or 110, the “Macchischmitts” (ten bucks says it’s a Silvaism next book) outclass P-1Bs as easily as Me 262s against P-40s.//

            Actually, if the P-40s knew the Me-262s were there & didn’t get surprised, they might do quite well against them with the correct tactics. The correct tactic against a faster opponent is to turn into the attack & meet them head on. Six .50 cals would & did do a number one the 262. If the 262 screwed up & stayed to dog fight, so much the better, the speeds would be coming down & a P-40 can out turn a 262.

            The same thing is applicable for the P-1s. With numbers & the right tactics, they could do decently against the MacchiSchmits. If the 10 cylinder radials continue to be uprated to a reasonable horsepower & they add a variable pitch propeller & enclosed cockpit, their speed would come up considerably. They also need a pressurized breathing system of some sort, either engine driven or O2, otherwise they cannot stay with the LOT aircraft if they try to climb away. Being as light as they are, they are also very maneuverable. A dangerous combination when used with the right tactics.

            I did some numbers on the hp those open cockpits are soaking up. At full speed & full power, the drag from the open cockpit is enormous (in the 50-70 hp range).

          8. By Justin on

            A pressurized cabin and larger engine, while very much welcome, would mean either a P-1D (extensive upgrade) or a P-2 (brand new airframe).

            Let me rephrase this: the Union can’t win with just P-1Bs and Cs.
            The 109 isn’t invincible, we know that – Soviet I-16s could bring them down just fine… but even an I-16 could fly circles around a Fleashooter. So the Union still needs to do some serious R&D.

          9. By Lou Schirmer on

            //A pressurized cabin and larger engine, while very much welcome, would mean either a P-1D (extensive upgrade) or a P-2 (brand new airframe).//

            Doesn’t need to be a pressurized cabin, just enclosed & an O2 (or pressurized air) mask for the pilot. With that the effect would be the same as a 50-60 increase in engine hp & increasing the P-1s ceiling to that of the aircraft, not the pilot. Granted, you wouldn’t want to fight the plane at altitude since the engine is losing power the higher you go, but it might let them get the drop on planes flying at lower altitudes. Plus flying at altitude means burning less fuel which will increase their range. A simple enclosed cockpit, hinged to the side, would be an easy modification, as would the breathing system.

            I do agree with you on their need to start working on something with higher performance.

        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          The 109s went down quickly due to the tactics used. Ben let them engage to P-1s & then dive attacked while they were preoccupied. Using high speed (from the dive) & surprise to get into good firing positions before the 109s had time to get their Shiite together. The 109s being built lighter than the P-40s would come apart quickly with six .50 cals hammering them.

          Using the right tactics, even technically inferior fighters have had successes against a superior foe. One example Wildcats against the Zero. The Zero was faster & more maneuverable, but the Wildcat scored well against it playing to their strengths. Another example, P-40s against the Zero.

          Reply
          1. By Matt on

            Absolutely. I think your analysis is on point and I think it supports my thinking that the union pilots are better. Not necessarily more talented but they have a lot more recent combat experience. This allowed Ben to develop an effective attack plan, probably with help from Diebel. The P-40 is an excellent Boom and Zoom platform and the 6 M2s are devastating on just about anything.

            The league’s air power can continue to be countered with proper tactics, even with much inferior aircraft. They almost certainly don’t have radar so a low level high speed raid on an airfield could catch them on the ground. The trick is doing it when and where they don’t expect it. If the league expects a fight then they will have a CAP flying. If not then they will be on the ground. You could bomb the airfield and deny them the ability to take off. Then you could strafe the grounded aircraft. That would be a serious material blow since the league likely can’t replace those fighters yet.

          2. By Donald Johnson on

            Depending on where the league has their main fighter Force and if they do not have it spread out in several airports conceivably an attack coming from the sea by the shortest route possible to give them the least amount of possible heads looking for them would likely be very successful in destroying any grounded aircraft. I do not think that Matt would hesitate if he felt that it was necessary to save lives, to attack without warning. When you are going to save a civilization chivalry only goes so far and if you do your best to not take out lives but just material in the end you have less anger over all.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Whatever is done will be well into the future.
            1. We don’t know where the LOT bases are.
            2. None of the current aircraft have the range needed.
            3. I doubt the Alliance members want yet another war front, against an enemy apparently so superior technically, but not actively attacking.

            Germany’s main problem in WW2 was attacking in too many directions & against too many enemies (especially Russia). The invasion of Russia & later declaration of war on the USA, without first finishing the British was insanity & doomed the Third Reich.

          4. By Steve Moore on

            Speculation is difficult until we know the extent of the League’s territory. Did they conquer Egypt? Do they have control of the Nile? The Ju52 had a normal range of 590 miles, so they probably had to stockpile fuel at a FOB in East Africa or southeastern Egypt to have the legs to get to Zanzibar as as well a a prepared landing field.

            However, they’ve now got about 20 Leaguers to squeeze information out of regarding their air force, what remains of it. Unless their task force contained crated aircraft, they can’t have had a lot; normal operations tempo would have them flying from European bases into FOB’s created in the course of their invasion. And most of those pre-WW2 European planes had short legs.

          5. By donald johnson on

            The league aircraft would have been crated in boxes unless they had a large event that lasted a long time (highly unlikely). The fighters would not have been able to locate the league forces after transfer as they would not have been where they were supposed to be. they may have a carrier but the craft that have been mentioned so far are not carrier capable.

          6. By Matt on

            It’s definitely going to be in the future. Maybe by then the union has their own home built P-40s and B-17s? What I’m getting at is what could be done if the League decides to keep up with their “not war” war and happen to still have assets close enough to harrass and attack the Union. The Union clearly already considers them at war and has an ultimatum regarding finding league forces in their AOR. Shoot on site. However it’s clear they don’t want a war with them either. The conflict with the Grik and Dominion is very taxing as it is and that’s with a clear technological and doctrinal advantage.

            I think it will be telling if we hear from that uboat that’s supposed to be lurking. If they get out of Dodge then it may bode well for deescalating with the League. If they decide to get some revenge or further even the playing field by attacking the Union fleet then we are beyond negotiations. I think the skipper has been very gracious up to this point. What the league has done would make most men declare war a long time ago. He doesn’t even know about the run in with the destroyer yet. That may set him off when he learns about it.

    2. By Steve Moore on

      Yeah, it’d be nice to have a sample MM but technology & materials may be beyond Baalkpaan for now. Although they’ve got the MM ground crews to help out, since they’re not going home anytime soon…

      Similar to the US deal with German rocket scientists, it might be helpful to offer some of the prisoners the chance to stay out of a POW camp. Some of them, like Fiedler, may not have been happy with the politics of their former lives. Offer a parole, keep them isolated from Union technology but continue to work on what they were doing before. Miyata switched; there may be more.

      But for now, find the torpedo bombers. Keep a few Clippers and Nancys at Zanzibar for now, start hitting the Grik bases up there, as well as patrolling up the east African coast to see what’s going on. How did the MM’s get to Zanzibar? Not by Savoie or any other of the League ships we’ve seen so far. What were the remaining Leaguers’ evacuation plans?

      Reply
      1. By donald johnson on

        The MM’s were most likely sent to Zanzibar crated like the P-40’s were. 5000 kilometers between Tripoli and Zanzibar and nothing else makes sense. Most likely the same ship that was allowed to return. They need to check carefully to see if there is an unfinished airport on Christmas island or aircraft fuel in the tanks.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          the range of the MM’s, is it given as 500 miles or is this a total range round trip, 500 out and 500 back. it is 280 miles from Christmas island to the strait that the America was headed for when sunk. Christmas island would be a good interdiction point for the league

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Usually “range” means a round trip, 500 out & 500 back with about a 10% reserve. Sometimes more accurately called “combat radius”. Ferry range is a one way trip, so it’s longer.

      2. By Matt on

        Pretty sure the evacuation plans involved escaping via uboat. There seems to be one in the area. No idea what will happen to it now. As for the fighters they could have been delivered in several ways. The JU-52 has a range of 620 miles and it flew in so the league had to have some kind of forward airstrip at least that close. Could be that the fighters also flew in from there. They may have also been shipped in. I doubt the league would allow korukawa to come and pick them up so they probably shipped them in themselves if that’s what happened. There’s a lot of gaps in the timeline where we don’t have information and I’ll have to do some rereading but I don’t think we are actually sure when they arrived. We know the league had a transport of some form on their island base. Could be that it delivered the fighters with the destroyer escorting before leaving the area. I think it’s more likely that once the group that arrived on the ju-52 confirmed kurokawa’s airstrip was acceptible, they flew in from the same base.

        Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          The oiler is more probable than the destroyer. If they were flown in then the destroyer for protection and the oiler for hauling fuel and carrying the spares. They possibly set up midway airstrips on the beaches along red sea. I would think the nile would be out due to grik or similar critters making attacks and seacoast less likely for attacks. kurokawa may have been advised they were coming and helped prepair some of the last strips.

          Reply
          1. By Matt on

            I meant the transport delivered them and the destroyer escorted it. I wouldn’t trust Kurokawa to not just seize the whole ship and it’s crew if it came alone. I’d bet the league wouldn’t either.

    1. By Matthieu on

      Helium is in short supply and it’s not a new problem. The msin issue is that the global supply of helium on earth is very limited and it’s incredibly complicated to keep helium.

      We need helium (a by product mainly of gas production) for incredibly important tool such as medical scanner or to look for leaks in space ships… At the same time humanity is wasting this limited supply to make stupid jokes or to inflate baloons.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        How about hydrogen balloons? That way when anyone gets stupid, it’s Darwin in action. I wonder if it affects the vocal cords the same way HE does.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          Unfortunately our society has decided to protect the stupid from themselves through warning labels and regulating what you can and can’t put in baloons. /S

          Reply
  27. By matthieu on

    Floating mines

    Dear all

    In the last few books I have not seen anything related to floating mines. Most people don’t know but they are one of the most powerful low cost weapon in any arsenal. They are easy to produce and remain a danger even after a long time.

    The main categories are:
    – “electric” mines: they are dispersed around a harbor and controlled from there. Friendly ships can run above. They were used at many places including the canal zone
    – drifting mines: they were release and moved with tide. Low accuracy but a huge danger for a chasing fleet
    – moored mines, the most common ones.

    Mines are even more efficient once you can disperse them by plane. you can use a slow and outdated one as long as they operate by night. Zeppelins can be really good at that!

    The alliance can use chains of drifting mines (just mines attached together so as to be sure that a moving ship will pull the rope and the mine will detonate).

    ———————————————————————-

    Now the funny part: you know that Japanese were disgusting and cunning rascals who deserve to suffer horrendously before dying. Well, this is at least what the crew of the battleship Richelieu was thinking in 1945: after surrender the ship entered Singapore but a forgotten mine detonated 17 meters from the ship.

    When the British admiral asked if the ship was ok, the answer was “watertight, wine leak”

    Those bastards had just hit the winery (bottom of the ship, abeam turret I).

    It leaded to some comedy on the bridge (the text is historic)

    (commanding officer): Report
    (damage control officer): damage parties investigating

    (damage control officer): no hull breach, integrity maintained, watertight
    (from damage control center): leaks reported on detectors
    (commanding officer): who’s making fun of whom? (“de qui se moque-t-on?”) which is the polite version of “what the fuck?”
    (damage control parties): wine tanks broken, investigating

    According to some legends, the whole damage control party tried to do its best to soak up damage, probably with a lot of volunteers.

    https://books.google.fr/books?id=06a9AwAAQBAJ&pg=PT354&lpg=PT354&dq=mine+richelieu+singapour&source=bl&ots=143XrtwEjU&sig=EIa9WaiXJMo2gZsuckpIsTGyBVQ&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjRtu2eoNHUAhUFZlAKHVaoAu4Q6AEIRDAE#v=onepage&q=mine%20richelieu%20singapour&f=false

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      //Mines are even more efficient once you can disperse them by plane. you can use a slow and outdated one as long as they operate by night. Zeppelins can be really good at that!//

      Hm… Actually, an interesting proposition. Zeppelin could hover over the water and just accurately drop the mine on pre-designated point.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Actually, the mines are VERY potent weapon – for both the superior and inferior navies. In World War I, the Russian Imperial Navy pioneered active minelaying (you know, that submarine minelayers were invented in Russia, right? :) ), and deal quite a lot of damage to superior German Navy. The RN was so impressed, that actually asked for russian consultants to formulate a new mining doctrine.

        In World War 2, the USN used active mining quite efficiently to disrupt the Japanese shipping. The IJN don’t paid enough attention to mine defense before the war (because, as in case with submarine defense, it was assumed that Japanese communication lines would be far behind the defense perimeter and USN would just be unable to hit them), and paid a great price in warship and transports. At the end of the war, the USA strated the most impressive minelaying operation in history, using heavy bombers to saturate Japanese home water with so much mines, that Japanese actually stopped trying to sweep them – they calculated, that damage would be actually less, if the ships would just rely on luck and go through the minefield, than if they would try to remove the minefield.

        So, mines are enormously potent weapon. And in Devil’s Due they were used quite efficiently)

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          I’m pretty sure Donald’s reply was sarcasm. Is the spoiler embargo still in effect?

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Don’t know. Steve Moore & Matthieu were the only ones w/o books. Don’t know if they were able to get e-copies from Amazon to read before the books showed up.

          2. By Justin on

            Matthieu got his a few days ago. We could lift the embargo at the end of the week, or wait until the two-week mark.

          3. By matthieu on

            ebooks from amazon? Come on, i like books. Ok, i ‘ve got a reader but not a Kindle, i don’t like proprietary systems

            Well, for me it’s ok, I’m at page 15 but I need to work today. Shit!

          4. By Steve Moore on

            O frabjous day, Amazone claims my book will arrive by 8pm at an address now 350 miles away. In addition, they have created a new 4-digit zip code addition that goes to neither my PO box or street address. Anticipating that by the time I return to CT next week, it will have been returned for no deliverable address. I will send them a correction, hopefully it will take, and in the beanwhile, will see if they have graciously gifted me an electronic version in a format I can’t read. Yes, sarcasm, but getting a little tired of the whole address thing. Starting with the last couple of orders, having them sent to my brother in law’s business.

            Regarding mines, ideal weapon to bottle up the Zambezi. Mix in a few scuttled Grik Indiamen (USN crews evacuated by PT, sort of like St. Nazaire). Mining Zanzibar harbor by PT at night might be a bit more chancy.

          5. By Matt on

            Steve I like physical books as well and intend to get a physical copy when it shows up at the local bookstore, I like to support small businesses. But to get my fix in I quickly got it through the Google play store on my phone. It’s cheaper than the physical copy, as it should be and be had anywhere you have wifi or cell signal. If you have an Android phone it’s that easy as they all come with the play books app. I’d recommend doing that for a few bucks now and getting a physical copy once you are able.

          6. By Steve Moore on

            Well, I’m going to be shifting over to electronic books eventually, just haven’t decided on the format. I like books on CD from the library, but their selection is not mine. I do a lot of driving (yeah, the 350 miles which is half freeway and half backwoods roads) and having ad-free and reading-free entertainment is nice, so the audio component is key. The car radio also plays MP3, so there’s that as well. Might give the Amazon Audible a try, don’t see how they can screw that up unless they send it to the Destroyerman universe…

          7. By Justin on

            I’d go with an epub format, or at least something that can be converted to it – then you can read it on any phone or browser (that has the right app/add-on, of course).

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            Might as well get the Kindle for PC (free) since you already have an Amazon account. Don’t need to buy an actual Kindle at all. I got it because there was a book I wanted to read which was only available as an e-copy. Worked like a charm.

            I do prefer an actual book however.

          9. By Justin on

            Whatever you do, stay away from the audiobooks.

            All the Cats have bad Filipino accents… except for Keje, who sounds like George Takei for some reason.

          10. By donald j johnson on

            Has anyone yet figured out how to get Taylor to sign-in audiobook there’s no physical thing to for him to sign

          11. By Lou Schirmer on

            Maybe he could verbally sign it. Record him saying “I’m Taylor Anderson signing Donald J. Johnson’s Devil’s Due audio copy.”. Then figure out a way to add it to the track.
            If you get it on CD, even easier, get a marker & have him sign the CD.

    2. By Justin on

      Might want to start reading Devil’s Due – you’ll find an answer there.

      Reply
    3. By Lou Schirmer on

      //Those bastards had just hit the winery (bottom of the ship, abeam turret I). //

      You know Matthieu, if the Germans had just threatened the vineyards when they invaded, you guys would have risen up in righteous fury & destroyed them. WW 2 would have been over before it started. C’est la guerre. :)

      Reply
    4. By Matt on

      Ok seems we are finally past avoiding spoilers. They did deploy mines to great effect at Zanzibar. It helped deny a good chunk of the approach to the main harbor and also allowed Walker to sneak in and catch Savoir with her pants down.

      Reply
  28. By Justin on

    Okay – so if three turbines require eight boilers, would four turbines require ten boilers, or twelve?

    Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Depends on whose numbers are correct. According to the book, the new turbines rate somewhere between 23-26K shp each – three to a CL gives 69-78K with eight boilers.

        Lou thinks the numbers are off, and it’s 23-26K for both turbines of a DD. Which would be more like 11-13K and 33-39K, admittedly closer to the book’s 28 knot estimate.

        Either way, it’s eight boilers powering three screws. Arithmetically speaking, it’s eleven boilers for four screws, but you can’t exactly fit eleven into a two-by-two configuration. Hence the question.

        Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          If they did any copying of the Japanese Destroyer which had two turbines of 26khp each and 3 boilers then all the numbers maybe messed up as the Japanese boilers appear to be at least twice as efficient kneading only three boilers for 52 K hp instead of four for 26k hp.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            The Japanese boilers were probably running superheated at high pressure as most DDs were at that time. That lets you get away with fewer boilers for higher horse power rated turbines.
            Probably using a lot of what Mr. Curry talks about below.

            BTW what is a “deareator” anyway, something to get air out of water?

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            William Curry’s post below.

            //The steam necessary to operate auxiliaries like deareators, pumps, fan etc. as well as keep the pipe warm is know as the parasitic load of the plant. //

          3. By William Curry on

            Deareators heat the feed water with agitation to remove dissolved oxygen in it. Primary means of corrosion control for most boiler plants. The other main point is to be the pH of the feed water and condensate above 7.0 (generally around 8.0 to 8.5) as ferrous metals will only corrode in water that has a ph less than 7.0 The water in the pressure vessel will be around 11.0 Caustics of some sort are usually part of your water treatment program. If your running a steam engine you prefer at least some small degree of superheat to prevent condensation in the high pressure cylinder or the first stage of the turbine.

        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          Might need to ask Taylor which numbers are correct, 23-26k each turbine or 23-26k for the pair.
          The numbers are correct for a pair giving us 11-13k each for the DDs, but may be different for the CL. You never know with those wily Tejanos.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            If clones of US turbines then 26k for pair is correct, if clones of Jap turbines then will be 26k each’ In the book I suspect that they may be trying to clone the Jap because they mention having problems with boiler tubing. End of chapter 4.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            I’m going with clones of the current US DD turbines & boilers (with mods). The problems they’re having are with the current build boiler tubes & low pressure (relatively) steam. The Jap boilers are probably running twice the pressure & considerably higher temps than the US ones, so while they may be trying to clone them, it’ll probably be a while before they do. They would be nice in a battle cruiser or fleet carrier though.

          3. By Matt on

            My assumption is that they are going to be the same as Walker’s boilers. They are having enough trouble as it is keeping those reliabke. Trying to copy higher pressure designs right now would probably end in failure.

            How do Kampon boilers work? I can’t find a lot of info on them. Are they based on the yarrow type or a completely new setup the Japanese invented? How they work is going to effect how long it takes to study and adapt them. If they are upgraded yarrow types then their construction and operation will be intuitive for everyone. If not then there will be a bit of a learning curve.

          4. By William Curry on

            Let me read the report and I’ll comment on it.

          5. By Matt on

            So I did a quick scan of the report Alexi provided. A lot of it is over my head, I work in IT, not boilers. But the tone of the paper is pretty telling. Seems ONI had a very low opinion of the systems the Japanese had in place. Lots of inefficiencies and questionable solutions to problems everyone seemed to have worked out fine.

            Am I right to say that Walker and other wickes boats used saturated but not superheated steam? If so incorporating the Japanese superheater will surely be an improvement but I’m wondering how much and how it would impact reliability. The report discusses reliability issues with the Japanese setup.

          6. By donald j johnson on

            Reliability issues on a long-term reliability problem are not the same as reliability issues on a short term reliability problem and it could be that the reliability that they were discussing is long term reliability versus short-term and believe me in a combat ship is too short term reliability this more important than the long-term reliability because if they’re worried about something going to break in 10 years we’re sure something is going to break in two weeks they’ll ignore the 10-year problem and fix the 2-week problem and just go on and fight

          7. By William Curry on

            The data sources are inconsistent for the Wickes class on the use of superheated steam. A least one source says they used saturated steam, but that may be after a WWII refit for convoy duty where the plants were derated. I doubt that the ships as originally constructed used saturated steam in the turbines as this would expose them to condensation in the first stages. Also the Wickes class was not uniform in their plants. Yarrow boilers typically had a radiant superheater tucked up under the steam drum, but some of this type had convection superheaters in the bundle between the riser and downcommer tubes. That arrangement was common for Admiralty 3 drum boilers in British service. I’ve not been able to find the exact data for the Walker’s boilers. According to most sources the reason the ships were taken out of service early and then scrapped was boiler problems. The boilers in the Walker were obsolescent at the time they were installed. I suspect that they went with them was that they were available quickly during the great war. Because of the expansion of the straight water tubes as they heat up, the steam drum is not anchored to anything and supported solely by the tubes. That is a recipe for a short life, especially if the operators didn’t take time to warm the boiler up slowly. I suspect, based on my experience, that Yarrow boilers were prone to leaks where the tubes were rolled onto the steam drum. Typically to bring a cold boiler on line, it’s isolated from the header and lit off in low fire to warm up the tubes and refractory and slowly build up steam in the drum until its equal to the pressure in the header. If the header and the steam system is cold, once the boiler is up to pressure steam in bled into the header and system section by section to warm it up. Often drains are opened and the warm up condensate load is dumped until the line is warmed up and then pressurized. Turbines also, if cold, have to be spooled at low speed for 30 minutes to an hour until it’s warmed up. If you get in a hurry you will cause damage from unequal expansion or water hammer. Liquid slugs of water moving around in a steam system are dangerous.

          8. By William Curry on

            The report on the IJN boilers makes the case that the Kampon boilers were inefficient for the cubic volume they occupied. The boilers were also inefficient on a pounds of steam per square foot of heating surface as well. The physical layout of the boilers restricted the flow of combustion gases through the tubes and the air heaters restricted air flow to the furnace. The boilers were subject to scaling due to poor water treatment and certain design features, which also made corrosion on the fire side quite likely. The boilers operators were also not well trained and the layout of the boilers made operation and maintenance difficult. The report also stated that the designers of the boilers were probably unfamiliar with boiler operation (I’ve seen that before). Overall they produced around half the amount of steam per pound of fuel burned compared to USN boilers.

          9. By Matt on

            William, you make it sound like the kampon boilers wouldn’t be an upgrade to the yarrow and possibly a downgrade. Am I reading that right?

          10. By William Curry on

            The Kampon boilers would not be much of an upgrade to the Yarrow if at all. The latest book indicates that improvements have been made in the Yarrows plus the crews are use to the Yarrow design. I’d stick with the Yarrow over the Kampon. The report was however comparing the Kampon to the latest boilers in US ships not the 25 year old Yarrow.

    1. By William Curry on

      The number of boilers is irrelevant to the power output of the turbines. That’s controlled by the absolute pressure and temperature drop across the turbine and the quantity of steams in pounds per hour. The extra boilers may be there for redundancy or to operate auxiliaries. The steam necessary to operate auxiliaries like deareators, pumps, fan etc. as well as keep the pipe warm is know as the parasitic load of the plant. I suspect some of the additional boiler capacity is going to operate steam turbine driven generators. The book mentions “better electrics” for the new cruiser. It also doesn’t state weather the new plant is operating at a higher pressure and superheat, but it mention that there have been improvements in boiler technology and efficiency. One possible way is to increase the efficency of the condensers by improving either the heat transfer in the tubes, increasing the number of tubes or the water flow through the tubes by using a more powerful condenser water pump, which would be driven by steam turbine. Also doing away with a pressurized fire room and going to a pressurized windbox on each boiler, each with it’s own forced draft fan. Adding induced draft fans in addition to FD fans would also increase the output of the boilers. Additionally the superheaters could be improved either by enlargement or relocation or possibly the addition of separately fired superheaters. Also additional stages could be added to the turbines. Rifling the tubes of either the boiler or the condenser is a possibility. So to is adding pre-heaters for feed water to recover heat from the stack gases.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        //Rifling the tubes of either the boiler or the condenser is a possibility. //

        Does that increase the heat transfer by increasing the surface area of the tube? Or is it something different?

        Reply
        1. By William Curry on

          Yes. It also induces turbulent flow which helps with heat transfer. On fire Tube boilers, turbulators which slow the passage of the hot combustion cases are sometimes inserted in the fire tubes to increase heat transfer. However you don’t want to reduce the temperature of the stack gas to the point that the water vapor in it condenses in the breechings, uptakes or stacks as this will cause corrosion, especially if the fuel your burning has much sulfur in it. Think #6 fuel oil.

          Reply
  29. By donald j johnson on

    Has anyone here heard of Cam ships. These are essentially ships that carried Fighters that were abandoned after use because they had no place to land. Could this system be used in the destroyermen series because after all of fighter is a lot less expensive than a ship.

    Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      No. Flashies.

      The idea of CAM (Catapult Assisted Merchants) was, that even single fighter could be used to chase away or shot down Axis reconnaisanse plane, thus covering the convoy. The cost of losing a fighter was considered acceptable, as long as pilot could be recovered.

      But in Destroyermen’s world, flashies would make any kind of pilot recovery highly improbable. Griks could possibly use such concept (“we need a few brave Uul!”), but I really doubt that Alliance could.

      Reply
      1. By donald j johnson on

        I was thinking more on the order of the single-seat seaplane Fighters that could be recovered

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          I’m afraid, that “Nancy” would not be able to chase away even the oldest League’s aircrafts. Basically, the Alliance would need a completely new seaplane fighter for that – and this is the area where French and Japanese have MUCH more experience.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            The French and Japanese of ‘our’ world. Unless a squadron or two transit through, it’s just the few they brought with them. And since they would have been within cover of land-based air, as well as fighting against land-based air, I don’t think there would be too many available.

          2. By Steve Moore on

            However, it would be nice if in December 1945, hopefully after the Union makes friends with the NUS and has planes flying in the Carribean, Fred and Kari make contact with Flight 19, and help add a flight of TBM Avengers to the Union forces. Supposedly a fuel slick from the PBM Mariner sent looking for them was found, but, hey, if that came through too, so much the merrier!

            Better than Oog and Bloog from Alpha Centuri, whose UFO was sucked into a transit because Oog wanted to prove he was a hot stick…

          3. By donald j johnson on

            Would love to see that happen also but unfortunately known people and known boats and known aircraft are not transferred do to rules set forth by Taylor. But that does not preclude flight 20 from the same date and another alternate reality from coming through or a lost space shuttle from another alternate reality thats attempting to land in Florida

        2. By Justin on

          Don’t bother with a converted P1-B either, the Fleashooter’s becoming obsolete too. The Allies (Union and Republic alike) need a modern airframe yesterday.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Problem is, modern airframes are outside their capabilities. And would be for at least a decade more.

            Simply speaking – it is not enough to just have several manuals to design and build 1930s fighter aircraft. Those guys are complicated. They required a whole team of good aircraft engineers to calculate and design. And a lot of good materials, tools and experienced workers to build.

            Currently, Alliance is completely unable to design something like that. They have no aircraft engineers to be worth mentioning in context of such project.

          2. By Justin on

            Well, we know the Republic’s building a blue water navy – not a spoiler, we’ve been talking about it since February – and that implies a healthy base of naval designers, architects and engineers with conventional expertise. It’s not much of a reach to imagine a (considerably) smaller corps of aerospace engineers.

            I’m not saying they and Mallory combined will crank out Lightnings or Mustangs, but it’s something… and they do have P-40 and Beaufort wreckage to work with. A working production line of wooden Blenheims and P-30s/P-35s, maybe P-36s, seems doable by mid-1945.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            Definitely not by mid-1945. You are talking about the planes, which took several years to just design by the much more industrial-capable nations. IMHO, but Alliance wouldn’t be able to have any (expect of some transfer) 1940s planes at least until 1948-1949. Simply too complicated tech.

          4. By matthieu on

            Not only the tech is far too complicated but also the more complicated the tech the more complicated the building method and materials.

            The first planes needed wood/fabric. Once you move to metal you’ll need aluminium, duralumin, specific alloys and so on. You’ll also need some highly specific components that you just can’t build as nobody in this world is producing the basic materials (tungsten, manganese, titanium, you’ve got dozens of them).

            They are going to face a wall: to go further they need at the same time to re-discover the method, the tools and to produce the components.

          5. By Justin on

            Pretty sure that instead of trying to break through the “lack of rare metal” barrier, they’ll try to go around it – for example, as noted in Distant Thunders, the deHav Mosquito was almost completely wooden.

            Mr. Anderson’s also mentioned a possible wood-laminated P-36 (albeit after a very lengthy R&D process) a few pages back.

            At any rate, the Allies will have their air power by the start of the League War… if only because our author knows we’ll eventually tire of Fleashooters being downed like passenger pigeons.

          6. By Alexey Shiro on

            Frankly, for short-time perspective the best Alliance could do is to fight the aerial war of attrition. With general hope that League would be out of planes faster, than Alliance would be out of half-trained pilots to threw en masse against them.

            IMHO, but the really good solution might be cheap wooden pulsejet fighter. Of course, the Alliance would need an example of pulsejet (I.e.V-1 missile or “Okha”-B plane), but the pulsers are completely within their capabilities.

          7. By donald j johnson on

            If the Pulse Jet is the solution and the wooden airframe is part of the solution then they are in luck because somebody should know about the Pulse Jet and the fact that it was invented in before WWI should help. They have the technology, and the engine is made from Steel where is the major problem

          8. By donald j johnson on

            Another thing to remember is that aluminum is not required for a metal aircraft. As Alexi can probably confirm the mig-25 which was one of the fastest Fighters around used steel in the skin of the aircraft and not Titanium or aluminum. Sufficient engine power will lift anything! If speed is the only requirement then why wait for aluminum and why not use thin Steel for the framing skin in a Pulse Jet. 600 + miles an hour and the competition won’t even see them coming. If the Allies had not had the extreme number of piston aircraft in World War II the German Jets might have had a chance to slow us down a lot had they come out faster simply due to their speed

          9. By Alexey Shiro on

            //If the Pulse Jet is the solution and the wooden airframe is part of the solution then they are in luck because somebody should know about the Pulse Jet and the fact that it was invented in before WWI should help. //

            In theory yes, someone may knew about the existence of pulsejets. Goddard patented one in 1934, and I imagine that aviation magazines, like “Flight”, probably mentioned such “futuristic aircraft propulsion”.

            But to knew that such thing exist and be able to design one, is two different things – albeit not as different, as with high-power piston engines.

            My IMHO, the best chance for Alliance would be to obtain the pulsejet through transfer. There could be quite a lot of pulsejets on Pacific in 1945-1946. The Japanese obtained schemes from Germany and have plans to use them onboard “Kawanishi Baika” attack plane. The USAAF planned to use reverse-engineered V-1 missiles (known as “Loon”) against Japan homeland before the planned invasion.

            I could imagine quite easily that some missile get transferred and crashed somewhere on Shogunate territory. After that, it wouldn’t took a long for Alliance to reverse-engineer the pulsejet engine.

          10. By Alexey Shiro on

            // As Alexi can probably confirm the mig-25 which was one of the fastest Fighters around used steel in the skin of the aircraft and not Titanium or aluminum.//

            Exactly. She is all-steel (with some titanium alloy on wing edges), and could reach Mach 2,85 in level flight.

            P.S. Actually, the USSR have a lot of experience with steel planes. Because of high costs of aluminium, in 1920s the USSR started to experiment with steel airplanes. About a dozen of “Stal” (rus. for “steel”) series planes with steel frames were build in late 1920s-mid 1930s.

          11. By Lou Schirmer on

            While I agree that “modern” fighters are many years away, our heroes can certainly design something with what they have to be at least competitive with the League aircraft. The LOT aircraft would be early to mid 1930s designs to be in operation with an invasion fleet in 1939. Those designs, from what I can see were capable of about 300 mph & lightly armed. With the 365 hp radials, the Union could build a plywood in-line pusher armed with either four .30 or .50 cal BMGs which could easily match that performance. With a simple variable pitch mechanism (I put one up on DA) that configuration could easily do 300+ mph & being lighter than the LOT metal aircraft, may have better maneuverability.

            This would be a future design they could take their time testing, since the P-1C is a close match against the current Jap fighters.

          12. By Alexey Shiro on

            We don’t knew exactly, what planes League have. Assuming generally the same technical evolution as in our timeline, they probably have Bf.109E fighters for German component, Fiat CR.42 for Italian component, and Dewoitine D.500 & Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 for French component. Of them, Bf.109E and M.S.406 are modern, high-preformance all-metal fighters with enclosed cabins & retracting gear. D.500 are older, but still VERY capable in compairson with Alliance current fighters.

          13. By Lou Schirmer on

            Meant to say “in-line twin”, sorry.

            As far as pulse jets go, they have their issues also.
            1. Very low thrust at take off for starters. They would need either a very strong catapult launch or a RATO system for take off. The V-1s assisted launch pulled 10 g’s to get the weapon up to a good speed for engine operation.
            2. The valves tended to fatigue & fail fairly rapidly. Not good for a high ops tempo fighter.
            3. Very high temperatures in the combustion area would require excellent steel for repeated combat sorties.
            4. Noise & vibration were also an issue for the pilots & airframe.
            5. High fuel consumption would tend to limit the range.

            These limitations are why most nations experimented with them & then just used them for single use operations like the V-1, attack missiles & target drones.

          14. By Lou Schirmer on

            Granted we don’t know what the LOT has, but since the Bf-109Es began production in 1939, if the German contingent has any fighters, they would probably be the C or D models. Given their junior status, they may only have a support or transport role, although those would probably be the best fighters of the bunch.
            The same issue with the CR-42, although since it entered service in May of 1939, it’s a toss up as to whether there were enough operational to go with an invasion.

          15. By donald j johnson on

            After the book we will know at least onr modern fighter they have and it is roughly equivelant to the P40. I will not say which one other than to say a p40 got one

          16. By Justin on

            Looks like some of us haven’t gotten the book yet… should we move the spoiler ban to next next week?

            Anyway, you two are pretty close to the mark. Though let’s just say that the standard Italian fighter is FAR more modern than a biplane.

          17. By donald j johnson on

            well having read the book twice now I would think that I would know what’s happening. And they definitely have some better Fighters in the league it’s the number of Fighters that is the question and yes if we swarm them they will run out of Fighters faster than we will because I doubt they can rebuild them as fast as we can. And considering that what was said in certain incidents in the book If true they don’t really want a war yet

          18. By Justin on

            Nah, “you two” meaning Lou and Alexey, who seem to still be in the guesswork phase.

            And it might work, or it might not, but it’d be very OOC – ironic too – for the Union Air Force to adopt Grik swarm tactics against the League.

          19. By Steve Moore on

            Well, rather than bring up the L word again (logistics), lets just say that the typical mid-30’s era European fighter probably had pretty short LEGS. Not what you need to fight an over-ocean war. And no Air-Sea Rescue either.

            But regarding pulse jets… if Kurokawa gets into it, imagine air-dropped Baka bombers with expendable Ull at the controls (such as the runts of the litters, limb deformities, etc. Ten times faster than torpedoes. Beats the need for RATO units.

          20. By Steve Moore on

            My guess is that any conflict with the LOT is going to be staged by them out of Italian East Africa. Just as the Allies used southern England during the run up to D-Day, they’re going to have to use inland Egypt. They’ve got the Nile for a highway, paddle tugs and barges are all they need for transport,and it wouldn’t surprise me if they try to conscript Halik. Italian East Africa is mostly flat, away from all three major potential adversaries (the Grik Grik, Halik and the Union) and oil can be shipped by pipeline over secure territory.

          21. By Lou Schirmer on

            I’ve got the book & certain others had pre-publishing copies for whatever pre-publishing copies are used for. I was just in the middle of reading another series again while waiting for this to come out. Time to get off my duff.

            //My guess is that any conflict with the LOT is going to be staged by them out of Italian East Africa.//
            I figure Italian East Africa is Grik East Africa right now, so they would have to either expend a lot of resources conquering it OR establish some sort of alliance with the Grik before they’re able to attack from there.

          22. By Matt on

            The major problem is and will remain access to aluminum. All that they have is from wrecked modern aircraft. It’s not enough to build a bunch of new planes with because they will likely be in a similar size and weight category anyways. They don’t have any real metallurgists with them so they don’t have anyone who would know how to get aluminum from bauxite or any idea where deposits are.

            The limitations of Union metal science reaches further though. Up to this point all of their ICE engines have been naturally aspirated. If they want more performance they are going to need superchargers and turbochargers. They have a pattern for those from the P-40s, Catalina and the Betty but just like with making metal aircraft that isn’t enough. Those require special alloys and bearings. More so for the turbos but the issue still exists for superchargers. Any they would make now wouldn’t last long in operation and may even fly apart.

            Ben can certainly design something like a P-35 or P-36 but without a good supply of aluminum and superchargers it wouldn’t work. You just can’t get something like that to work with steel and they are pretty much at the peak of performance for wood and canvas.

            One thing that I haven’t seen mentioned in the books is the likely serious flight restrictions on the P-1s. If they can break 200 mph in level flight that means they can break 300 in a dive. Trying to pull out at that speed would likely rip the wings right off.

            Bauxite is actually pretty plentiful in Australia in our world but the problem is the only process for refining it that the destroyermen would possibly know of, or anyone from the 40’s really, is the hall-heroult process which requires cryolite. Cryolite is very rare. The largest deposit was in Greenland. We have better processes now but they weren’t developed until post war and involved chemists and metallurgists. Hall-Heroult also requires a lot of energy and is pretty inefficient. This alone wouldn’t stop them but it would likely slow production.

          23. By donald johnson on

            A turbo made from steel is acceptable. it just needs to be larger and slower, and possibly a 2 stage device. get the pressure up to 30 inches in the first one then up to 50+ inches in the second. A super charger does not need the heat treatment that a turbo charger does as it is engine shaft driven instead of exhaust driven.

          24. By Justin on

            Welcome aboard, Matt.

            Also worth mention is that the Hawker Hurricane (Mark I) was a wood frame with a fabric covering (later, steel) and no supercharger. So the Union hasn’t quite hit the performance ceiling yet.

          25. By Alexey Shiro on

            Probably the Union better try steel alloys instead of aluminium. The planes woud be somewhat heavier, but MUCH easier to build.

          26. By matthieu on

            You need to be careful: in this forum we use words like aluminium or steel while engineers know that the real issue is “which percentage of sulfur can we accept in steel to reach a givel level of performance”.

            People are not stupid either in this world. They just need a lot of time to re-discover what engineers know but not them.

            Just run a small test, seriously: we all have access to internet (so our level of basic knowledge in quite unlimited) but it’s hard, even for us, to find some really important techniques (they are easy to find is specialized book that nobody read)

            Just assume that you want to produce something with a limited number of components. Let’s say a gun. You need some good steel /iron. you need to be able to maintain quality. you need to be able to draw blueprints: you need paper, pens, a lot of training for those who are going to draw them (now it’s forgotten but some people had to learn the trade during years before spending their whole live copying blueprints) and so on.

          27. By donald j johnson on

            One one thing that is very definite is that the steel of the skin of an aircraft is very different from the Steel used in the barrel of a gun it is much more malleable. It has the ability of being cold rolled where’s the steel used in a gun barrel does not have the ability of being cold rolled. It is also very thin so they would need different machines for rolling and pressing it keeping it consistent would be a potential problem.
            As mentioned previously there are those who probably know the differences in the destroyermen world but as you also mentioned knowing the differences and being able to produce the differences is the problem.

          28. By Matt on

            //You need to be careful: in this forum we use words like aluminium or steel while engineers know that the real issue is “which percentage of sulfur can we accept in steel to reach a given level of performance”.

            I didn’t mean to step on anyone’s toes. They are certainly capable of figuring it out eventually but without direct experience with Aluminum it would require a pretty long and painful rediscovery of what was originally a long and painful process to figure out originally. With everyone dedicated to the war effort and “good enough now better than perfect tomorrow” I don’t think we will see it for awhile. Once they do manage to get aluminum going it will be a fairly quick process to modernize their aircraft I think.

            //Welcome aboard, Matt.
            Also worth mention is that the Hawker Hurricane (Mark I) was a wood frame with a fabric covering (later, steel) and no supercharger. So the Union hasn’t quite hit the performance ceiling yet.

            Really? I thought it had a steel tube frame? It had wood but it wasn’t load bearing to my knowledge. Not sure about the blower or lack thereof though.

            //A turbo made from steel is acceptable. it just needs to be larger and slower, and possibly a 2 stage device. get the pressure up to 30 inches in the first one then up to 50+ inches in the second. A super charger does not need the heat treatment that a turbo charger does as it is engine shaft driven instead of exhaust driven.

            Is that overall manifold pressure or boost pressure? Max manifold pressure for our beloved P-40Es is 45.5 and that’s only for a few minutes so we don’t need to be nearly that aggressive. Boost pressure for any Union blowers would probably be limited to single digit psi, still a noticeable bump in power. I was more concerned about the quality of the bearings for the superchargers than alloys. You’re right you can make blowers just out of steel fine.

          29. By donald johnson on

            //Is that overall manifold pressure or boost pressure? Max manifold pressure for our beloved P-40Es is 45.5//

            “technically, manifold pressure is the pressure above an absolute vacuum and boost pressure is positive compressed pressure above atmospheric usually the result of a turbo or supercharger.”
            So I inferred it to be boost since we are not working in a vacuum.

          30. By Matt on

            //“technically, manifold pressure is the pressure above an absolute vacuum and boost pressure is positive compressed pressure above atmospheric usually the result of a turbo or supercharger.”
            So I inferred it to be boost since we are not working in a vacuum.

            Sorry I guess I should clarify, by boost I mean pressure from the supercharger or compessor. It’s common jargon with car tuning to refer to the psi/bar whatever your compressor is pushing as boost. Sorry if it seemed like I was butchering terms there. I don’t know how much boost the Allison V12 had from it’s supercharger but from flight Sims I know that at Max war power it’s manifold was about 45.5. of course HG to psi is apples to potato’s. My point was that was a ballpark to shoot for and given the bearings and metal the union has to work with their superchargers are probably going to be limited to single digit psi for relaibility. Doing more would require more agressive gearing and the bearings may not take the rpms and heat.

            I did some back of the napkin math and if they can reliably make a supercharger to push 6psi of boost then we are looking at roughly having the same performance at ~15k feet as the naturally aspirated engine would at sea level. Not to mention better sea level performance. That’s not bad at all and beyond that we would probably need either pressurized cabins or masks since the cats seem to be effected by high altitudes more so than humans.

            All that equipment probably adds too much weight to the fleshooters but it could possibly work in the PB-5Ds. The added performance and altitude might allow them to fly above the Grick rocket AA entirely.

        3. By donald johnson on

          In the east the only aircraft they have is the Grik Bird and the Nancy is useful against them. they should also be useful as patrol craft in the east with the convoys there.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            If they build a new fighter, the P-1s will probably transition to the East, just as the Brits used Tomahawks in North Africa while saving Spits for home defense.

            What I’d be more concerned about is the fact that the Caribbean is a lot closer than Madagascar. The NUS has had contact with them already in some fashion it seems, so to reverse that, the LOT knows that the New World is probably a pushover. Plenty of islands for air bases, and once all the dangerous animals are erased, no more can move in. That way, they can control the Carribean and Gulf with just a few planes and supply vessels. Dawn takeoffs, patrol a couple of hundred miles and land at another island to fuel, patrol another couple of hours and home for dinner.

            That way, you control all the resources of the New World, force the Union to reinforce the East by taking forces away in the West, and weaken the front opposing the Grik.

  30. Taylor AndersonBy Taylor Anderson (Post author) on

    “DEVIL’S DUE” is officially on the loose!

    I’m very excited and hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I loved writing it! I’ll be getting a few copies to give away–signed, of course. Hey! How about a “Favorite Scene in the Series” contest? (Pre Devil’s Due, to avoid spoilers). Describe your choice here or on my facebook page by, say, July 4th, and three winners will be determined by how many comments agree with you!

    Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          AGGGG, I finished the second reading now and I got another year to go for another book. Speed up the next book

          Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      Looked nice… in the 3 seconds I had before Photobucket snatched it away from me and left me just a ad for Flo the Progressive Lady. :-( Declined to sign up, I’m trying to reduce the number of things I’m signed up for. But still a nice design, Justin. Probably a little too heavy to make a MGB out of a PT. I’ll defer the questions on forging/drawing the barrels to Professor Anderson.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Might be time to switch back to DeviantArt…

        Anyway, it’s an AA gun, not a main gun – definitely too heavy for the PTs.
        As Alexey, Lou, matthieu et all intended, the idea is to add a modern motor + hydraulics to a proven Gatling-type weapon (the 37mm Hotchkiss) and end up with sorely needed mid/long-range point defence for larger warships. I put her on a Type 96 mount because why not?

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Just the right size for Lou’s TB and DE designs; if a wooden-hulled subchaser is ever built, not a bad main weapon. The PT’s used the 40mm to good advantage against Japanese barges; imagine them ripping up a few Doms or Griks… or on an armored chassis for AA & assault use on land. Between I’joorka and Silva, God knows what they’d come up with. Keeping up with ammo supply could be a problem.

          Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        I got to it after fighting my way through savage hordes of advertisements. Looks good. Magazine fed not drop feed like the Bofors, correct? Probably 7-8 rounds that way, or maybe could go with a double stack with the right follower & get 14-16 rounds.
        Might even do a slow machine driven hopper feed (sort of a loose ammo drop feed like the 40mm Bofors) with a “pause” switch when the gun stops firing or the hopper is full. It would start feeding again when the gun started firing &/or the rounds in the hopper fell below the “pause” switch.

        Reply
  31. By Lou Schirmer on

    With many Union aircraft being shot up, crashing or otherwise too damaged to fly, there might be some W/G engines lying around in decent shape in Grik City.
    I can see some enterprising soul either remembering trucks or having mentioned them to a cat, & have one of them start thinking.
    You could mount a W/G engine on a wagon, build a chain & sprocket drive to the rear wheels, add a steering wheel, a gas can no one wants & presto! A Jeep!
    After some excitement, they may have to add suspension of some sort & radically upgrade the breaks, but I could see it catching on as a quick way to get around the Grik City area, harbor & air field.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      150 horsepower seems a bit overkill for a Willys.

      Maybe a halftrack? It’s also less likely to get stuck in bad terrain.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        A half-track would make more sense in terms of providing more development of tracked vehicles, also to develop prime movers for artillery or cargo. Or, cut the W/G in two and make a smaller engine for a ‘mule’ style vehicle.

        Regardless, the bulk of the army still moves on its feet; not too many places to deploy mech infantry or armored cav, unless you have the space for flanking maneuvers a la Rommel or Schwartzkopf.

        Still think next thing should be railroads, since there exists the need to move quickly along the eastern and western Republic coasts, and a vehicular road network will take a lot of time. If you keep your railroad in your rear, or at least in territory you control, shipments should be pretty dependable.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          //Or, cut the W/G in two and make a smaller engine for a ‘mule’ style vehicle.//

          Depends on how you cut it – cutting a Marine in half doesn’t exactly make a smaller Marine.

          (“Try cutting off the head, he doesn’t need it!”

          “Shut your ass up, Navy!”)

          //Regardless, the bulk of the army still moves on its feet; not too many places to deploy mech infantry or armored cav, unless you have the space for flanking maneuvers a la Rommel or Schwarzkopf.//

          It doesn’t necessarily have to be for breakthroughs – the Union/Republic can use them just to move artillery/equipment/personnel from the rear to the front (and vice versa for casualties).

          The problem so far is the Air Force taking all the engines and the Tank Corps getting whatever’s left – if there’s functioning salvage lying around the combat zone, that equation changes.

          Reply
          1. By Willliam Curry on

            MARINE stands for “muscles are required, intelligence not essential” or “My ass rides in Navy Equipment”
            Steam power works fine for prime movers for things like artillery and towing trailers full of supplies and fuel. There were used in the Great war. Think steam powered farm tractor as was used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They also serve as portable power station as they could drive generators, saw mills, and other machinery with PTO’s or belts.

          2. By donald johnson on

            //cutting a Marine in half doesn’t exactly make a smaller Marine.//
            no it makes 2 air farce dudes :-)

        2. By Steve White on

          We’ve talked about rail — narrow-gauge rail in Borno makes a lot of sense to move ore and coal to Baalkpan and the other industrial sites. Rail at dockside makes sense to help move goods to and from the ships, and to move cranes into position, etc.

          As to vehicles: Dwight Eisenhower always said that one of the keys to winning the war in Europe was the Dodge 2 1/2 ton, 6 wheel, 6 wheel-drive truck. I wouldn’t expect that here, but a 150 hp engine could pull quite a hauler vehicle for supplies, artillery, etc.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            //We’ve talked about rail — narrow-gauge rail in Borno makes a lot of sense to move ore and coal to Baalkpan and the other industrial sites. Rail at dockside makes sense to help move goods to and from the ships, and to move cranes into position, etc.//

            Problem there is that Baalkpan (and other Alliance territories) already has water-based trade – therefore, little to no land clearance.
            Chopping undergrowth and building rail to, let’s say, the oil fields, doesn’t seem to be effective short-term when they can just send it downriver by boat; maybe consider it once the Grik are gone.

            Perhaps an inter-urban? It can move passengers and freight around the city.

            //I wouldn’t expect that here, but a 150 hp engine could pull quite a hauler vehicle for supplies, artillery, etc.//

            Field conditions have gotten a bit messy before (mud, undergrowth, etc), so again, maybe tracked or halftracked vehicles instead of wheeled ones. The SdKfz 10 or M2 Carrier comes to mind.

            Failing that, they could try a motorcycle halftrack like the SdKfz 2 – you don’t even need a W/G for that one!

          2. By donald johnson on

            I am surprised we haven’t heard from a certain party on these marine jokes. At least Silva isn’t a marine, He is more like the UDT in full bloom.

          3. By Steve Moore on

            200,000+ 6×6’s sure gave the Red Army some mobility. Read an article a few years (maybe 10) back about how some were still running in Russia.

            Makes those ’57 Chevys in Cuba look new.

    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      Guys, I’m not talking about equipping a land campaign, just some enterprising cat using surplus stuff he “acquired” to build something he heard the humans talking about. It’s not an actual Jeep, I just called it that as something simple & easy to build & work on. Just a cargo wagon with an engine & some mods to run around Grik City, maybe carry big wigs around (the official reason if asked). After making it more comfortable & safe, of course.
      I’ll bet Silva would take the ball & run when he caught wind of it. Pretty soon there’d be drag races at the air field, maybe road courses at the edge of town & on the beaches like they used to do at Daytona. Gambling on the races (with Silva getting a piece of the action natch), shops setting up to build more & modify them for more speed, safety, comfort etc..
      Might be a way for them to get more power out of the W/G engine, the way racing did in this world. Reddy or someone would have to step in eventually to keep too many engines from being “damaged” & “unfit for flight”, but it would be a good morale builder & entertainment for the troops as well as a way for some to blow off steam & decompress from combat.
      I never meant it to be a new production military transport, just something thrown together for fun.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Or if there’s a Cajun cat around, they may come up with the airboat to get around the rivers, swamps & bayous. The boat would need to be decent sized to take the W/G engine, so it could carry a bit of cargo where normal boats couldn’t. You could even put a .30 cal in it with some of Chack’s Raider’s for riverine operations, say spoiling ops & recon up the Zambezi. Muffle the engine & take3-4 boats to have an effective strike force, or 1-2 for recon missions.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          For that matter, you might be able to mount a 3″ or 4″ mortar in one. Sneak in on raids with oars or poles & when ready, mortar the enemy camp all to hell. If you’re really feeling froggy, tow some barges stuffed with rockets behind the airboats & REALLY make a statement when you open fire.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            nothing like a few Stalin’s organs to really wake up the opposition

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Quick way to get ashore on a foreign shore… like Zanzibar.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Not a bad idea, airboat landing craft.

          4. By donald johnson on

            and then there is the ultimate airboat, the air cushion craft and 150 horses would inflate and power a real big one carrying lotsa troops and gear. Do ya think some cat might figure out how to build one. and think about what a air cushion craft could do if it was carrying torpedoes. Too bad the idea came to late in the war to do any good.

          5. By Steve Moore on

            Towing heavy loaded barges with airboats sort of defeats the purpose of the airboats, plus you’d have to abandon them when removing your treats, and it gives away your position on an stealthy incursion. Seems to me you’d want aerial attacks as a diversion while your commandos go in. Especially if you want to operate quietly, like if you wanted to catch someone unawares.

          6. By Lou Schirmer on

            True, they’d best stick with just airboats with machine guns & mortars. We’ll leave the rocket barges for landing support.

        2. By Steve White on

          A 150 hp engine would power a Higgins boat.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Probably best for opposed landings since they provide protection for the troops going into the beachhead. They could also use the 225 hp 6 cylinders that the MTBs use.

        3. By Steve Moore on

          Since the Grik Grik don’t have machine guns or airplanes, that’s a good possibility. However, wouldn’t the single-bank radial, or maybe an opposed two-cylinder version (100 hp) be a lighter choice for an airboat? The more horsepower per pound, the better, I would think, plus an air-cooled motor eliminates a lot of complexity. Riverine operations means a lot of hidden snags that an airboat would have a lot better chance of passing over.

          2 30’s in the front, port & starboard, and a sliding disembarking ramp. Maybe a few sacks of grenades, and to get really crazy, an air compressor to provide a little more oomph for a flamethrower cart for harbor raids. Although an incendiary air raid would probably work just as well.

          Well, a few idea for Lou’s next design, the ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ airboat…

          Reply
  32. By Julian Ceres on

    How would a St. Louis Protected cruiser fair against the ships from the destroyer men universe and if so then what would it go against to make said encounter a fair one?

    Reply
  33. By Joe Thorsky on

    Lou
    Speaking of “forin” pilots and fly-by-night airlines (Cargo)
    Experience is a harsh mistress especially when put to pen and
    paper. So, here I go.

    Height Restrictions
     
    Scandinavian pilots sure are a crazy lot,
    They play, they drink, they boast, they sing,
    They’re really into that “love” flying thing.
     
    As the human cargo, you know you’ve taken quite the chance,
    To get that one flighty pilot who just by fate and happenstance,
    Fits nicely into the captain’s chair without any hesitation, care or doubt,
    As long as he can just take that dashboard instrument (IFR) route.
     
    He needs a book that’s extremely heavy, thick and high,
    If he ever wants to view, and reach that wide open air and sky,
    From ground to heaven there’s no catapult, towline or hook,
    As long as he can sit on that oversized telephone book.
     
    So, in a frenzied rush to put all postponed affairs to right,
    You gladly max out on the individual insurance of flight,
    You’ll need no food, no sleep, no pills nor drugs
    When on journey’s end you gladly drink from his proffered flask of glug.
      
    Inquiry
     
    When NTSB investigators arrive on scene to clean up an air crash disaster mess,
    Runes, black box secrets, slide rules, Ouija boards and computer simulations all are used to make the governments’ official educated guess,
    The question of How is carefully depicted, identified, catalogued and put on for public display,
    Leaving only the Why and Because explanation and answer to be postponed, put off, deferred and reconsidered for another day.
     
     

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      I usually need a Ouija board to understand your posts Joe, but I got this one loud-n-clear Kemoswabee!

      Reply
      1. By Leslie Wilson on

        You forgot the entrails of the sacred chicken. When I was at HQMC, those were the most important part of our T/E.

        Reply
  34. By Julian Ceres on

    The way that the HE 100 cools its engine is by using the airflow of the wings and allowing the air to help cool its engine along with some other liquid cooling systems to go along as well. Also, the HE 100 is made mostly of wood and aluminum which allows it to take full advantage of its maybach 1000 horsepower engine and high cooling efficency.

    P.S. Aftee landing, unless you want to get third degree burns while exiting the plane, then NEVER TOUCH THE WINGS AFTER FLYING THE PLANE!!!

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Maybach engines powered tanks for the Reich, Daimler was the engine they wanted for it at over 1,500hp (some versions over 2,000hp), but the Me 109s & 110s were using all they could produce.

      The evaporative cooling system on it was way too complex for a combat aircraft. 22 pumps, the liquid was cooled in the body & inboard wings with a radiator also & the vapor was run through the outboard wings. If they’d gone with a normal cooling system & had engines available, it would have been a vicious fighter to deal with. As you say, Hot Wings anyone?

      Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Well, they could have always transferred it to the Canteen Corps, flying in wherever brats and potato pancakes needed to be cooked…. sling the beer barrels under the wings to keep them cool.

      Reply
  35. By Julian Ceres on

    *Rolls out a He 100* “That’s cute, Race my He 100 and then we’ll decide who’s really the fastest here.” Btw the Henkiel 100 can do 700 kph in a straight line at 4,000ft.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Very nice plane & fast, but I think the cooling system & lack of enough good engines is what killed it. Probably a good thing for our guys over there.

      Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Well, she’s not going to win any fashion awards, but with stats like those, she doesn’t need to.

      Quick, somebody think of a Silva-ism! “Pipe-ning?” “Light wing?”

      Reply
        1. By Joe Thorsky on

          Lou-Justin

          Howse about Splitfire, Katerwauler I, Katerwhaler II as
          plane designations?

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            I like Splitfire, so many ways to take it the wrong way.

      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Got to thinking about your comment on the stats & believe I was a bit optimistic on the B model (read that as greedy). Drag goes up on an increasing curve the faster you go, kind of like ships needing to double the horse power for a one quarter increase in speed. So I cut the top end a bit. For the next speed level increase they’re going to need retractable landing gear… & more horsepower.

        Reply
        1. By donald johnson on

          drag goes up by the square law. to double the speed you need 4 times the horsepower

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            this means that with 2 engines inline and no extra drag the plane should be capable of being 1.41 times as fast as a one engine version. the twin booms will cause some engine drag so i would think it would be 1.3 times as fast as a single engine with same area cross basic section.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Wow! 331 mph sounds good to me, but there are other factors coming into play also. It’s made of plywood which jacks the weight up. We have to slightly more than double the engine & prop weight (variable pitch mechanism adds a bit). The tail booms, as you noted, add frontal area drag along with the twin vertical stabilizers & the ventral fin also. More is added by the larger horizontal stabilizer. Then the gun & ammo weight add up (double on the A model, more on the B, a lot more if we add the 25mm cannon & ammo). Add some more weight for the pilot breathing system & enclosed cockpit. We get some drag reduction with the enclosed cockpit & faired main gear. Even reducing your multiplier to 1.2 gives us 306 mph, in line with my greedy estimate for the B model(proud of myself, back patting in progress). That’s going by the P-1Cs speed rating on 325 hp. Both models may perform better than the design study estimates. I may have to change the specs in the study.

          3. By Steve Moore on

            Guess we’ll be seeing Lou at Oshkosh in a few years!

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            OK I’ll need some bamboo, flashie scale glue, four .50 cal machine guns & someone who knows how to build a plane from butt scratch.

          5. By donald johnson on

            I do not think the bamboo I have in my yard is good enough. Too soft and flexible also the panda’s would complain about losing their dinner.

      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        Maybe:
        Two-Flashie?
        Twisted-Kitty?
        Two-Fer-One?
        Boom-Town?
        Shave-Tail?
        Actually these would be good names for pilots to call their planes.

        Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        nice. Looks like you increased the length of the vertical stabilizer to help with one-engine emergencies?

        The Lighting looks terrific, although Silva would probably call it something like the one-two punch or double trouble.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Thanks. If you mean the vertical stabilizer on the P6B-B, no, it’s not longer. The wing being farther back may make it look that way. Now you mention it though, that might be one of the things they have to tweak if it ever flies.

          We’ve got some Silva-isms already with Justin chiming in with:
          //Quick, somebody think of a Silva-ism! “Pipe-ning?” “Light wing?”//

          I added my two bits with Whirly-Boom & Fork-Screw.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Yeah, Silva better watch the ‘double’ entendre… Since Dornier did the tandem thing with a lot of their flying boats, it’s not an unreasonable idea to pop into Mallory’s mind. Especially if Walbert comes over to the good-guy side, he obviously has a multi-engine rating since he’s flying Auntie Ju…

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Looking at the design again, I thought of something… since taxiing on a carrier deck is going to be limited, don’t think it would be a problem there, but on a land base, would Cats be able to see over the engine cowl for extended taxiways? Some Alitalia pilot ran into a service truck today, and they’ve got better views… Maybe adjustable seats?

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            All tail draggers have a limited forward view. To keep safe they do what’s called S-turns while taxiing, this helps them see what’s in front of them. You can see the war birds doing this at air shows. Alternately, sometimes they had a ground crewman/cat standing on the wing next to the pilot telling them where to go & letting them know if they’re about to hit something. Most pilots are also taught to do S-turns or clearing turns during steep climbs where forward visibility is limited by the high deck angle.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            Alitalia pilots were notorious in my day as hot dog pilots. Most were ex-military fighter jocks. They climb like bats out of a hot spot & where most descents are supposed to be gentle for passenger comfort, these guys would be almost over the airport before tipping one wing & dropping like a rock. Successful landings were accompanied by cheers & clapping from the passengers grateful to be alive. I guess the pilots took that as encouragement.
            Many foreign air lines & ground crews aren’t as attentive as they’re supposed to be, especially third world airlines & airports. My parents worked in Libya in the 1970s & the “terminal” still had bullet holes in it. In Indonesia in the late 60s there was an incident when the pilot taxied out for take off & pulled the gear up instead of lowering the flaps (flight cancelled due to technical difficulties). Another one was a DC-3 had the power cart too close to the engines & when they started the prop ripped up the cart before disintegrating noisily (flight cancelled due to technical difficulties). Good times. :)

          5. By donald johnson on

            A potential fix on the tail drager taxiing problem could be an adjustable wheel height on tail wheel. down on landing and takeoff but up on taxiing. this could be a ground crew adjustment.

      2. By donald johnson on

        is there a good reason it is a pusher instead of a puller. in a water landing or takeoff water splashing the props can cause more damage in a pusher a.s it having more time ti splash up to the hight or the props

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          It’s still a pusher due to the hand propping requirement on the W/G engine. If they’re away from the launching ship, the observer is the starting system.

          Reply
          1. By donald johnson on

            and how is the observer supposed to start is when floating? a small boat or raft will not do. It really needs an inertial starter or similar that can be cranked from inside the cockpit.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            True, they need an inertial starter for it & fairly easy to design & since it’s a fairly small engine also fairly light.
            The starter has to reach to each side & pull the prop down & towards them. They’re counter rotating, turning inboard on each side. It’s the same engine essentially, they need to change the cam, the timing & the prop to make it counter rotate.

      3. By Steve White on

        The cat in the rear seat is going to be deaf from the noise of two engines.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          He/she can duck behind the Plexiglas after starting & the actual engines are a bit farther away from the observer than on the Nancy.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            They still have a supply of plexiglass? Left on board the Santa Catalina? I wouldn’t want to be that observer either…

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            They’ve got glass at least since there’s windshields on all the aircraft. Plexi was in commercial use in the late 1930s for aircraft use among other things. Courtney or someone may know how to make it. Bulletproof glass had been around for 20 years or so, so someone may also know how to make that, although it was usually only used for the front windshield of fighters since it was a bit heavy.

    2. By donald johnson on

      Just noticed how close the rear prop is to the ground. I hope that there is not a lot of shock depression on landing or you are going to lose a lot of props and cranks on rear engine unless you stop and feather in a position where prop is not vertical while landing. Stopping an engine while landing is nor a good thing under normal operation in my estimation.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        That’s one of the two reasons I put the ventral fin in front of the rear engine. If a hard landing is made & the main gear struts depress too far, the fin & replaceable skid plate will hopefully keep the prop from hitting. It’s also so I could mount the arresting hook low enough to engage the arresting cables.

        Reply
    3. By Steve White on

      I’m certainly no aircraft designer but some questions —

      — first, how will this aircraft handle? I worry that an in-line push/pull airframe won’t turn well. In an aircraft projected to be an air defense fighter, nimble is a high priority.

      — second, I worry that it’s over-gunned for the airframe. The Alliance still isn’t turning out a lot of .30 cal machine guns. Putting two on the airframe rather than four, and leaving space to upgrade to a .50 cal, makes sense as you can spread the number of guns to more airframes. The weight will be less as well, and that (to me) seems important — you’ve got a lot of weight out towards the tips of the wings and that may impair maneuverability.

      — third, I think the range is optimistic. Two gas guzzling engines in that frame, and not a lot of room for fuel if one respects CG.

      I like the idea, and clearly the Alliance needs a new airframe that is within the means of production.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        First – I agree, handling in a fighter is a priority. It should turn quite well. One advantage with using radials is they are shorter & allow for a more compact airframe. I also increased the wing area considerably to keep the wing loading down which also contributes to good turning radius.

        Second – This is a design study & not in production yet, so by the time it is (maybe), the .30 cal MGs should be available in numbers. As far as outboard weight goes, the P-38 of our world had two big engines in about the same spot & turned very nicely. Roll rate might be affected, but I increased the size of the ailerons also. Aircraft maneuverability is more of an aerodynamic balancing act than a strictly weight issue. If it’s rigged & balanced correctly, it will maneuver well. Look at the P-47, basically a flying tank & yet it had good handling & did quite well in combat.

        Third – Yes the range is a bit high, but there is room in the fuselage for couple of large fuel tanks since there are no superchargers (yet). Also they can shut down one of the engines in flight to extend the range & with a higher cruise speed to start with, they should be able to get that range out of them. Plus, at high altitude you burn less fuel (less air for the engines, leaner mixtures, less air resistance etc.).

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Speaking of wing area, Lou and Donald, just curious, if maneuverability were not a problem (say a long-range recon version landplane to be based in St Francis or San Diego), how much wider a wing would the spars support? They’re going to have to have something to recon the unknown spaces further east, sort of their low-altitude version of a U-2. Not much water to land on, so no sense using a seaplane. Use the fuselage and gear from an existing design but fit longer wings for more lift/less loading. Or would air turbulence be a problem? SteveM is also not an engineer…

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            That I’m not sure of structurally. It depends on a lot of things, like what the spar strength is, number of spars, whether you’re just lengthening the wing or changing the whole thing. If you’re just lengthening an existing wing, I wouldn’t go for more than about a 15-20% increase in wing span without extensive testing or strengthening. A better way IMO would be to design a new wing for the application. Long range aircraft usually have long narrow wings & they’re built to flex a bit as well.
            As far as wing loading goes, that’s a function of wing area (area divided by the planes weight). You can have a long narrow wing with the same wing loading as one with a short, wide chord wing. Low wing loading is good for range, turns & rate of climb, but is more sensitive to turbulence (you bounce around a lot). High wing loading (smaller wings) is good for speed & is less sensitive to turbulence.
            Power loading is horsepower divided by the weight of the plane. The lower the power load (higher HP per weight) the better the performance in takeoff, climb, top speed & turns, but high power often reduces range.

            Actually, the P-2 design would be an ideal candidate for a long range recon platform. You could lengthen the fuselage to make room for an observer & more fuel & replace the outer wings with longer, narrow chord wings with the guns replaced with more fuel tanks. It would have a reasonable turn of speed & with one engine shut down for cruise, lots of range. As a bonus, with the longer wing & no guns, takeoff & landing speeds would be cut substantially.

          2. By donald johnson on

            Longer narrower wings for a recon craft with internal wing tanks to keep it out of the cockpit leaving pilot and observer with more room and also helping improve the balance of the craft. If wings for a glider with a 20 to one glide ratio can be developed then the fuel requirements will be greatly lowered.
            An enclosed cockpit or oxygen masks will improve altitude performance. I feel that masks could get them up to 25k feet without to much problem. this will allow much higher operation so greater visual range is obtained if no clouds are slowing things down.

          3. By Steve Moore on

            Remember, recon is still being done with the Mark 1C(at) eyeball, so at 25k, things are going to be pretty tiny. Better start amping up the cameras so you can do some fast recon with P40’s over Grikland (and Zanzibar). I like the idea of glider wings; wonder if there’s anything to use for glider tugs? Create a glider corps in St Francis, if there are no grikbirds.

    4. By Steve Moore on

      Lou, your comment on a possible ‘RP-2’airframe made me think, this could be like the Mosquito or Beaufighter, a multi-purpose roleplayer. If they ever develop aerial mines (for dropping in the Zambezi) or 5″ HVAR, this could be just the plane to match with the speed needed for those missions.

      Use the lengthened fuselage for a scout bomber as well as a recon bird?

      Must have missed the TB#2, nice view of the possibilities of the aft deck.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Mallory et all can only stretch the PB airframe so far – it’s a scout first, bomber second. Best to drag the Beaufort out of the jungle and use that to create a multirole instead.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Think they may have to build a plane around the engines they have. Give the RRP one of the Beaufort engines to reverse engineer, take the other back to Baalkpaan.

          Reply

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