4,693 COMMENTS :

  1. By David B on

    Got a question: Do maritime triple expansion engines need small, baring (spelling?) engines to get the HP pistons to TDC in order to start? You can see one in action in this video of the Kempton Park (England) engine starting: https://youtu.be/KhlJp1VZMB8

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    1. By William Curry on

      What your seeing is an engine driven jacking gear. On most engines the jacking gear was operated by hand, sometime with a another driver like a small engine or electric or air motor. Depends on how big the engine is. In an emergency a shaft can be jacked over with pipe wrenches or pipe chain tongs. Very large wrenches or tongs like 6 feet long, even then, often a come-a-long or a chain fall is used to pull on the wrench or tong. Really large diesel engines will have jacking gears which can often be used to start them. These are often air motors. There is often a way to lock the jacking gear to immobilize the engine so it can be safely work on. In the movie “The Sand Pebbles” there is a scene where a man is killed when the jacking gear is not locked properly and slips allowing the engine to rotate and crush someone.

      Reply
  2. By Matt White on

    Everything has gone quiet. Guessing you guys are busy reading like I am and don’t want to spoil anything for those still waiting on their copies. Cant wait for the discussion to start again in a week or so.

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    1. By Justin on

      Hit Chapters last Friday, read it all in one go. Spoiler: Kurokawa is still dead.

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          1. By Steve Moore on

            Probably a few less Uul as well. Oh well, Ulls’ well that ends well…

          2. By Justin on

            Just putting down his roots, I suppose.

    2. By Steve Moore on

      Waiting on Dread Wrecks to deliver. Last time they couldn’t find the street I lived on (in the center of town). Time before that, the package was on the front lawn. Hell, even as a 12 year old paperboy I could hit the porch on the fly most of the time.

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      1. By Justin on

        Um, are you sure you want the bike delivery guy playing Space Jam with your hardcovers?

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        1. By Steve Moore on

          Next one, I’m going to have the library order it, get to read it first, then donate it. Did that with a book about Roosevelt and Churchill (I got enough) and worked out well.

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    3. By matthieu on

      Got the book too….

      Now it’s time for mind bleacher. With a single letter change.

      River of Bone(r)s.

      ….

      Reply
  3. By Paul Nunes on

    This is using the 19th Century to build 17th Century equipment. Overhead line shafts driven by steam boilers (or water wheel) that turn leather belts to drive machinery.

    If you wonder why the Alliance or the Republic “doesn’t build X, then they will have better”….. here is why. Look at how many steps (operations) it takes to make ONE wooden wheel with powered equipment.

    Every bit of powered equipment needed to be prototypes and refined itself for hundreds of hours to get it right. YEARS went into each machine and you several for each step to make a wooden wheel for a cannon or a supply cart.

    The camera man is not a professional, the demonstrator is Aussie, and the environment is very loud. Therefore, it can be very difficult to make out what that demonstrator is saying at times.

    Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oo0yFp9gvU

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    1. By Paul Smith on

      Boy, the time it took to machine out one of those, you could make 100+ M4’s!

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      1. By Paul Smith on

        Sorry, I meant to post that comment under the Chauchat link. Not very awake now!

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      2. By William Curry on

        Unfortunately, the M4 requires aluminum forging techniques that were unknown before the 1950’s.

        Reply
  4. By Paul Nunes on

    This is using the 19th Century to build 17th Century equipment. Overhead line shafts driven by steam boilers (or water wheel) that turn leather belts to drive machinery.

    If you wonder why the Alliance or the Republic “doesn’t build X, then they will have better”….. here is why. Look at how many steps (operations) it takes to make ONE wooden wheel with powered equipment.

    Every bit of powered equipment needed to be prototypes and refined itself for hundreds of hours to get it right. YEARS went into each machine and you several for each step to make a wooden wheel for a cannon or a supply cart.

    The xamera man is not a professional, the demonstrator is Aussie, and the environment is very loud. Therefore, it xan be very diffixult to make out what that demonstrator is saying at times.

    Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oo0yFp9gvU

    Reply
  5. By Paul Smith on

    I was wondering what type of civilian weapons they pulled off the Sandy Cat? Could they have had something like a pump action shot gun or perhaps a lever action rifle? Give them some ideas for repeating weapons. Would the chamber pressure from bp rounds be low enough for something like a winchester lever gun, or a shotgun like the mossberg 500? the alloying/heat treating may not be up to modern levels.

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    1. By Steve Moore on

      That’s where Reddy’s .44-40 six shooter came from; there was a description of what they found but don’t think there were any other salvageable guns. Don’t have my library at camp.

      Would be nice to have a couple of lever action carbines chambered for the .45 ACP but will defer on the engineering to Taylor. Might be a nice civilian brush gun, although I think they ought to start thinking about a .30 cal service rifle. Yes, I’m talking about ’03 Springfields; the RRP builds Mauser actions now.

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      1. By Taylor Anderson on

        There were other guns in Santa Catalina’a arms locker, I only described a few they considered attempting to mass produce. A better lever gun would be a 1876 or 1886 Winchester because both of those could be chambered for the standard .50-80, though the ’76 might require an “express” loading, with a lighter bullet, seated shallower, to keep the overall length down.
        I will not confirm or deny this possibility.

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        1. By Steve Moore on

          Wasn’t the Sharps a .50? Before my time.

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          1. By William Curry on

            Sharps were made in a number of calibers from .40 to .54

      2. By Jeff on

        And speaking of Capt.Reddy’s six-shooter – after the presentation didn’t he hand it back for safekeeping on the Santy Cat? Wasn’t there an ominous statement about “if you ever get down to those last fifty rounds know that I’m coming for you” or something similar?

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        1. By Charles Simpson on

          Yes he did, he gave it to ‘Captain’ Russ Chappelle.

          Reply
    2. By Charles Simpson on

      Thirty ought six and forty five APC dominated the American arsenal of WW 1 and WW 2. Making the bolt action Springfield, the BAR, and the water and air cooled Browning machine guns use the same Ammo. Should the M-1 come through adding a Semiautomatic to the list that would be great. The .45 pistol and Blitzer bug add short range firepower. For now the trapdoor Allin/Silva is the standard infantry weapon with the odd BAR, Krag, and Springfield from Walker and Mahan’s arms lockers. Lever and pump actions are difficult when shooting prone meaning the bolt action and automatic are the best choices. My guess is for the rest of the war that it will be a come as you are party, perhaps adding the 0.50 air cooled Browning for anti-air and fighter armament that can deal with the League aircraft. I think we are more likely to see more modern League aircraft than armored vehicles in the war with the Grik and Doms.

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      1. By Paul Smith on

        I was thinking along the lines of something like the Winchester Model 1897 trench gun. would be effective in trench warfare, high volume of fire rapidly laid down. Should be effective against both grik & dominion forces.

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    3. By Paul Nunes on

      Lever action guns are more mechanically complex and require more machining operations to build them and more assembly and finish at the assemblers bench than bolt action guns.

      Right now the Allies have Springfield 1903s, Mauser 1898, Mauser 1888, and one m1891 Mosin Nagant.

      The bottle neck is production capacity. There just isn’t enough steel, foundries, power hammers, broaching machines, boring machines, rifling machines, lathes, and milling machines to make everything.

      A minimum 50% of production goes to making more production machines.

      You have to make the tools to make the tools, to make other tools.

      The Allies have to recreate from scratch alloys like High Speed Steel just to make lathe cutting bits, twist drills, and reamers.

      It will be a trickle for years, then enough starts flowing to give you a breather, then a tidal wave of everything you ever wanted.

      Winston Churchill gave a speech to Parliament on that very thing.

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  6. By Alexey Shiro on

    Just interesting technological point about naval turrets; while the Cole’s turrets were the most common design since late XIX century, they weren’t the only one possible. French navy (and several others, who took French technical ideas) stuck with Ericsson turrets – albeit seriously redesigned.

    The turrets of French 1890s battleships were placed atop the ring-shaped base, and were supported by long central column, which went downward into the ship’s hull. Below the waterline, near ship’s bottom, the hydraulic jack was placed.

    When the turret needed to be rotated, the hydraulic jack raised the whole column with turret on the top from its base. Lifted for about 0,25 inch above the base ring, turret then rotated, and after being put in required train angle – were lowered on the base ring again. The precise aiming was conducted by training the gun itself inside the immobile turret.

    The advantages was, firstly, that turret was VERY compact, there were no large barbettes, and downward from turret came only the very compact column well & ammo elevator shaft. All heavy machinery was placed far below, near the bottom of the ship. Thus, there were a great economy of upper weight.

    Also, such turrets were pretty good gun platforms – after rotation, the turret was basically fixed stable on the place.

    The problems were the jamming-prone design, of course, and the fact that gun required a lot of space inside the turret for precise aiming (because the turret could not be trained with required precision, the gun must have enough freedom of train inside the turret). So this solution worked well for single-gun turret, but not for twin-gun.

    Still, it was a good & original idea!

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  7. By Steve Moore on

    Was thinking about the lawn darts/flechettes again, and after reading about the Gurkhas sneaking up on Germans, sleeping in pairs in foxholes, and slitting one’s throat while leaving the other to wake up. Two casualties for one effort. Think North African goumiers did the same thing.

    Anyway, why not add a few barrels of darts for midnight intruders to drop silently on Grik camps? Problem is, the live Grik would wake up and think, ‘BREAKFAST’, and not be depressed at all…

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    1. By donald j johnson on

      Heard that a long dart dropped from the Empire state building top completely immersed itself in the sidewalk and cost quite a bit to have to replace The concrete that was damaged by the one dart

      Reply
  8. By Paul Nunes on

    Anyone else scratching their heads as to how it is that the Dominion has reached Industrialization and Steam engines only very, very specifically on Naval power?

    Their hasn’t been evidence of industrialization in any other facet of their country.

    Maybe the Dominion did not build their steamers?

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    1. By Justin on

      Keep in mind that Orwellian dictatorships – and theocratic ones – tend to discourage technology and innovation except in very specific areas.

      I’d say the Dommies’ means of tech advancement is torturing/turning enemy officers (like they tried with Fred Reynolds and “flying machines”). In the case of steam engines, the leadership decided that they’d only use it for paddle wheelers – not like anybody would have the means or knowledge to apply it elsewhere.

      Though that doesn’t explain why they haven’t acquired ring bayonets…

      Reply
  9. By Paul Smith on

    Watching a video the other day, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKVlCkchkQI, and was wondering if the union has tools like the lathes or hydraulic riveters. Or the pantographs and heat treatment devices. I know the m3 was not that advanced a design, but Rommel didn’t like it much. If the union comes up with a design similar, should be equal to, or better than anything the league has.

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    1. By Paul Nunes on

      There was a tool shop. Torpedo Maintenance aboard the Walker and Mahan.

      Presumably, machine tools have come from Santa Catalina, Maru, and Amagi.

      The production is slowed by having to use machine tools to make machine tools. Then there is the issue with steel and alloys… the lack.

      50% to 75% of your machine hours are spent making more machines versus parts for equipment.

      The rate is exponential though. It is one reason war time production produces little for two or three years, then production seems limitless.

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      1. By Paul Smith on

        the lathe’s I was referring to, were the ones machining the inside of the 3″ cupola, it looked to be over 2′ machined inside. the hydraulic riveter had about a 4 foot throat. neither of these is something you would find on a DD.

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        1. By Paul Nunes on

          Ok, you lost me.

          What 3″ cupola? 2 feet inside of what? A hydraulic riveter with a four foot throat? Where? What for?

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          1. By Paul Smith on

            to machine the 3″ mount of an M2 Lee, riveter to assemble hull of the same, try viewing the link in my original posting above.

        2. By Paul Nunes on

          ah. No they would not be. Like everything else these would need to be “invented”.

          For the sake of the Tanker I hope they don’t go that way. Even a near miss by artillery or a hit that doesn’t penetrate breaks off rivet heads that go through men and equipment like bullets.

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      2. By Charles Simpson on

        Machine tool can make more machine tools book 4 distant thunders discusses this, the electric shops, machine shops, and the first internal combustion engine (ice) house. Obviously large lathes able to turn 10 naval Rifles from Amagi were made along with lathes to make 4″/50s etc. Now doubt brass drawing to make .30-06, .45APC, and .5o BMG rounds and shells and cases for 4″ ammo. Not to mention boiler making, rolling mills, casting foundries, crucible specialty steels, open hearth and Bessemer furnaces etc etc. Now doubt automatic turret lathes programed analogy by pegs, strips of iron on drums etc to machine an individual part. Look up screw machines the precursor of Computer controlled machine tools. Taylor could no doubt write a book on just making things, but then no battles. I’ve seen 16″ naval rifles in a lathe, 2″ square tool bits, the machinist riding the tool carriage that rode on train like tracks, pits where the exterior of the gun is heated, and in the middle they spray water so they can remove a worn liner, now that was a sight!

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        1. By donald j johnson on

          When General dynamic was still in san diego i saw a 60 foot turret laythe/milliing machine Combo that needed a new controller. So they replaced a broken $600k conputer that ran at 100.Khz and had 10 k of core memory with a commodore 64 that ha 64 k of ram and emulated the old machine in basic while reading the old punch card reader controller that cost $160.00

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          1. By Paul Smith on

            A few years ago, Ford replaced the custom computers (big bucks) controlling the robots on the assembly lines with Apple Mac minl’s, $500 bucks apiece. Commercial commonly available items, all they had to do is ghost their drives with an image of the operating system & controller software! Minimum cost, able to keep a lot of spares in stock!

  10. By Justin on

    Failing mass production of the Type 96 autocannons, how far could the Union scale up the Brownings? A ZPU-type system (or bigger) should be pretty deadly against most of the League’s airpower, if not their armour.

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    1. By Generalstarwars333 on

      Well, they’ve got .50 cals, so they could probably get good use from them. I’d advise against scaling them up, since I think they’d end up with something like the Pom-Pom, a less than perfect weapon.

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          1. By Justin on

            Except that we’re talking about scaling up a Browning, not a Maxim. They might end up with a KPV at the very least.

          2. By Paul Nunes on

            A .50 browning is a scaled up .30 browning.

            The 30.06 enlarged in all dimensions.

          3. By Generalstarwars333 on

            So I believe that with the pom-pom, they took a maxim machine gun and scaled the gun up and made a bullet for the gun to shoot, whereas with the .50 cal they took a .30-06 cartridge, scaled the cartridge up, and made a gun to shoot the new bullet. And keep in mind, the KPV shoots cartridges meant to be used in anti-tank rifles. It wasn’t some machine gun bullet or machine gun they scaled up to be bigger. It was created to shoot a pre-existing cartridge meant to take out tanks . Poorly armored tanks, yes, but tanks nonetheless.

          4. By Paul Nunes on

            Ok double the .50 Browning Machine gun from again from 30.06.

            What do you have? 1 inch equals 25mm. You have a 25mm shell that reaxhes twixe (or less) the 1800 meters of the .50 AP.

            You are again with the IJN type 96 25mm.

          5. By Justin on

            Not quite. They’d be firing 25mm bullets instead of shells – whose fuses are apparently beyond the Union’s ability right now.

            If possible, even a 20mm (.79 cal) Browning should have more range than the M2 and just as much firepower (perhaps more, if belt-fed) as the Type 96. Emphasis on “if.”

          6. By Paul Nunes on

            No, not really.

            The projectile weight goes up with the increased dimensions.

            This is when you have to double the case length to increase the propellant to overcome the loss in velocity.

          7. By Lou Schirmer on

            20-25mm impact fuses shouldn’t be beyond them & those size rounds never did have the timed or VT fuses at all, since they were too small. Some used self destroying fuses, where a tracer compound would burn through to the explosive & set it off at a pre-calculated distance (2k-2.5k yards eg.). This was usually to cut down on friendly fire when ships were shooting at attacking planes.

        1. By Husky on

          They do have potential access to actual Max 08’s through the Real People/Roman cats. Not impossible to get at least technical drawings, if not a sample gun. I read up on the 37mm/2pndr poms, didn’t realize they weren’t all that great, although still an excellent AA platform against slow air targets like Zeps. OK, I can’t seem to post a new topic on mobile, so I’ll stick it in here. Any thoughts on the Jenks naval carbine and “Harvey Jenks?” Just curious if that might have been Taylor’s inspiration for the name, as Harv IS a naval officer.

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          1. By Charles Simpson on

            The MG 08 is the German variant of the Maxim Machine Gun. MG is the abbreviation of Maschinengewehr 08. In the books the Republic lavishes USS Donaghey with MG 08s and ammunition as noted in Devil’s Due

            For specs on the MG 08 see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_08

          2. By Paul Nunes on

            There is a 40mm Maxim on an artillery carriage as an Infantry gun. Fires solid shot and high explosive projectile. Would be about the same as 40mm grenades today.

            A large, water cooled, belt fed, carriage mounted Mark 19 Grenade Machinegun. See the South African entry at the bottom of the page.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QF_1-pounder_pom-pom

      1. By Paul Nunes on

        A KPV is built for the 14.7 AT cartridge originally meant for the PTRD and PTRS anti tank rifles. Those were built in 1941 out of desperation. While not very effective versus German armor after the Panzer 4, these were effective versus lightly armored or unarmored targets like half tracks, supply trucks, and trains.

        The KPV heavy machine was fielded in 1949. The USSR could not afford to be wasteful with the millions of rounds produced for the PTRS/PTRD.

        14.7 = .59 xaliber

        IT is a beast and the ZPU-2 and ZPU-4 were mass produced in the hundreds.

        The effextive range as a AAA weapon is 2000 meters. The traverse and elevation is done manually without power assist. The sights are graduated lines on a ring style rear.

        This is a daylight only system.

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        1. By Paul Nunes on

          http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display.article.cfm?idarticles=2316

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

          The Alliance and the Republic have to build AAA cannon with powered traverse and elevation.

          40mm for the 2km range, 75mm for the 4km range, and 90 or 100mm for 6km range and maximum altitude.

          Without proximity fuses the ratio of rounds to downed targets is going to be in the thousands to one.

          Some day when radar is available having an analog xomputer that points the gun will drop the engagement time by half.

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          1. By William Curry on

            They had analog computers in the late ’30’s for AA direction that used an optical rangefinder to input azimuth, elevation and range to an electro-mechanical computer that sent the settings for the barrel to either servos on the gun or indicators on the mount that the crew could use to aim the gum. It also sent a setting to an automatic fuse setter that the loader stuck the nose of the shell into before inserting it into the breech. Not as good as radar and proximity fuses, but the system shot down lot of aircraft in WWII. When gun laying radar came along the rangefinder input was replaced by the radar input. Early radars were not capable of actually laying the gun, but were used as search and direction finders to let you know the aircraft was coming. If your defending a static target like a city AA batteries can lay a barrage in the sky that the attacking aircraft have to fly through. Each battery continuously pumps shells into a box in the sky using inputs from an overall AA fire control room. If you visit ships like the USS North Carolina you can the AA directors on the deck which look like coin-in-slot binoculars that you see at tourist destinations. These AA directors could also be used to direct the secondary batteries, if the secondary battery plot was out of service. If you at AA guns from this era in museums you can see the servos (usually 110v DC motors) connected to gears on the mount. Some of the larger gun mounts had hydraulic traversing and elevating mechanisms driven by a pump on the mount, which was it’s self driven (usually) by an electric motor.

          2. By William Curry on

            Quad .50’s are a possibility for the Allies. These were electrically traversed and elevated, with power supplied by a small generator on the mount that has a Briggs & Stratton gas engine. You fire either two guns or 4 guns at a time. There was also a version with two.50’s and a 37mm gun on the same mount. There was also a circular slide rule called a Cricklow slide rule that could be used to manually do the computations for the gun if the director was down.

          3. By Justin on

            Yup, proper hydraulics/motors are a must as well. The Type 96s (rather, practically all Japanese secondaries and AA) suffered from slow tracking speeds.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            And were prone to heavy vibration which reduced accuracy.

          5. By Paul Nunes on

            Still only engage planes at 2000 yards. Only a hit to the engine or pilot is going effect the plane either.

          6. By donald johnson on

            // Only a hit to the engine or pilot is going effect the plane either.//
            not necessarily true, A hit on a control cable to elevator / aileron can also disable and make an aircraft inoperable

          7. By Justin on

            They might not even need mission kills. Enough damage to the squadron/s might cause the flight leader to call an abort.

          8. By Paul Nunes on

            The problem created there is hydraulic fluid is very flammable. A ruptured line and you have a large fire fast. This is why they was taken out of tanks very fast and electric motors scaled up to turn tank turrets or elevate guns.

    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      Impact fuses – yes, VT fuses – no, at least for shells. For rockets – maybe…

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      1. By William Curry on

        During WWII the smallest size cannon round that could take a VT fuse was 3″/75mm. That’s why the US Navy adopted the 3 inch/50 gun as it’s primary AA gun after the war. Plus they had discovered that 20mm and 40mm shells lacked the explosive power to knock a plane out of the sky when it was try to crash on you. Acorn size vacuum tubes were developed during WWII specifically for the VT fuse. Some people there was a big future in electronic miniaturization after the war with acorn tubes, however the transistor was invented in 1948….

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        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Problem is, that VT fuse for shells is way beyond the Alliance current (and even foreseeable) capabilities. Too many microelectronics, too high stresses. But for rockets, they – MAYBE! – could produce a workable proximity fuse, albeit I think the infrared one.

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          1. By Matt on

            How would they develop an infrared sensor with the knowledge and tech they have? That’s a very specialized field in the 40’s and active infrared was super cutting edge just making it into the battlefield at the very end of the war. Passive infrared was researched heavily post war and wasn’t practical for a weapon until a few more years. The AIM-4 was first tested in 1949 and was operational in 1956. And as we all know, it was junk.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            Simply. Primitive infrared devices – called bolometers – were well-known since XIX century. They aren’t particulary adaptable, but they are pretty workable; you could build sensitive enough bolometer on 1920s tech (heck, you could build it sensitive enough on 1890s tech!) to react on the aircraft heat emission.

            And I’m talking not about IR guidance, but about IR fuse for unguided anti-aircraft rocket. Which is much more simple.

          3. By Matt White on

            I didn’t know about those. That may work although I wonder how tough they are. Reading up on them they should delicate. Definitely sensitive though. I would be worried about the potential for other heat sources setting them off prematurely but that just requires proper development of the weapon and not rushing it.

            Of course this all requires someone in the book to know about bolometers and how to make one.

    3. By Matt on

      To what end? The 50 is a great A2A gun for fighters. If we are talking about AAA then the 25mm should be fine as long as proper mounts are developed. I think that was of the major weaknesses the Japanese had with them. Their mounts traversed very slow and were bad about vibration.

      Next size up could be the 3″/23 and the largest the French 75mm mle 1924. It’s a weird combination but covers all envelopes well enough. Bofors and 5″/38s would be nice beggars can’t be choosers.

      Reply
  11. By Steve Moore on

    Too bad Juan didn’t save any of those seeds from the officers’ apples. He could have been known as Juanny Appleseed. Sorry, was reading a book on pruning and it just hit me on the head.

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      1. By Steve Moore on

        The pun. Picked up the book to learn how to prune apple trees to less than 6′ high, started thinking about how that would be just about Mi-Annaka height, remembered the passage from ‘Into The Storm’, and it just went downhill from there.

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        1. By donald j johnson on

          That’s not downhill thinking that’s definitely uphill thinking get so their own well known fruits available in the future.

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        2. By Paul Nunes on

          We should all be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

          Reply
    1. By Alexey Shiro on

      …I must point out, that cultured apple trees aren’t usually grown from seeds… they are usually transplanted on the stems of wild-variety apple-trees.

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      1. By Paul Nunes on

        Do I need to mail you some heirloom apple seeds?

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        1. By Steve Moore on

          No, ended up planting some blueberry bushes. Pruning did not fit into the time budget.

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  12. By Lou Schirmer on

    The two main issues the LOT will have, if they want to eventually fight the allies, are the (probable) limited range of many of their ships (designed for use in European & Mediterranean waters) & lack of sea borne air support (carriers). So the LOT has to find a way to increase their ships range, or bring along several tankers (aka targets). Most European navies never developed underway replenishment to any great degree, so an attack forces progress may be interrupted by putting into convenient bays or river estuaries for refueling every 2-3 thousand miles. With long range scouting planes, this might present opportunities for air strikes or even surface attacks from Union forces.
    While LOT spotting aircraft &/or float plane fighters are more capable than the current Union offerings, P-1s in sufficient numbers, can down them if handled correctly. That would strip them of air cover. However the Union doesn’t have anything to mount a serious air attack with yet against larger ships. DDs & support ships would be a different story, as lighter ordnance can damage, cripple or sink them.
    The only current advantage the allies have is naval air power. After the Grik situation is settled, they need to develop a next generation fighter & strike capability to have any serious chance against the LOT, who will presumably be trying to build some sort of naval air power themselves. Maybe they have another Bretagne class BB around. They could strip her down & build a carrier out of her & with some (modified) MacchiSchmidts & Stuka types, she could be dangerous.

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    1. By donald j johnson on

      something that was designed to run the Mediterranean would be highly unlikely to have a range of greater than 2000 miles. I would expect that they would probably want to refuel at no more than half their maximum range to give them a chance to get back if they run into a problem and the refuel Supply ship misses finding them. no matter how deadly the ship it is harmless without fuel and tankers do not have the AA necessary for protection

      Reply
    2. By Justin on

      The League probably doesn’t even need a BB; a couple of spare oilers or cargo vessels make handy CVEs in a pinch. I’d be more concerned about sabotage from any possible POW/slave labour system they have going on.

      Range-wise, it seems likely that the French, Spanish and Germans would’ve given their ships longer legs in order to fight the British in the North Atlantic and North Sea.
      Perhaps they’ll keep most of the Italian ships holding the fort and leave the Allies to deal with the rest? Might make both sides’ jobs easier.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Most of the European nations would have maintained a navy as a way to secure their colonies. The French would have had the longest-legged ships, as they had colonies in the South Pacific, rivalling the Brits in necessary range. The Spanish, by comparison, would have had only their North African colonies, similar to Libya (I read somewhere that Rommel was disgusted with the short legs of Italian warships). My guess is that if the LOT has oilers, they’re small. I doubt the Germans have much of a fleet presence at all in the LOT, except for U-boats; they’d have to get around England, if they even wanted to give up defense of the Fatherland.

        So we’re back to a LOT fleet train supporting an invasion force steaming only a few hundred miles. My guess is that the LOT has oil resources in West Africa, or… up the Nile.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Makes sense. In addition, I believe that the Spanish were planning to order most of their navy (including a pair of Littorios) from the Italians; they’d all probably need a large shipyard or two somewhere along the Ivory Coast.

          Still, the Union’s going to have a hard time figuring out how to separate the auxiliaries from the fleet and sink them.

          Reply
        2. By Steve Moore on

          You know, Justin, that’s probably why they threw away the Savoie. A destroyer/cruiser/escort carrier navy makes more sense in the Destroyerman world. The CES probably brought her along just for fire support, while the newer ships were in the screen offshore. And after the transfer, well, she was probably useless to them. Even if there’s something more modern in the North Atlantic to fear, Savoie would still be the odd ship out. Even the officers and crew seemed to be uncertain assets and thereby expendable, at least to Gravois.

          Reply
      2. By Justin on

        On second thought, the League’d be better off trying to build CVs from their troop ships. Most navies of the time commandeered ocean liners for transporting armies around; the OTL Kriegsmarine planned to convert a few, but never got around to it.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Think the two (planned ) Italian carriers were to be converted liners; they might even have brought them along to carry troops, but, again, the short journey might have discouraged the owners from allowing the needed conversions. You thoughts, guys?

          Reply
    3. By Paul Nunes on

      The LOT doesn’t need a carrier if it stay in the Med or operates in the Caribbean. Land based planes would be more numerous and more effective in the Med or the Caribbean. Higher payloads, take off weight, and aircraft size/weight with out the need to circle in the sky for an hour or more for a group to all get up in the air to begin the mission.

      Carrier planes are offensive are shorter ranges than land based planes.

      For the Alliance to attack the League it does so at the end of a very, very long and fragile supply chain. Same is true in reverse.

      There is nothing to assert that there is a Suez Xanal or will be one for some time. 1) the sea is lower. 2) that region is Grik territory. 3)You don’t build a back door for your enemy to walk right in. 4) the Grik are unaware (in Soffeshk anyway) of the existence of the League.

      The Alliance is in a zero, null, zip, nada, nothing position or need to fight the LOT as long as the Grik are in the 100s of thousands and stand between the two.

      With out any evidence (reconnaissance) the Alliance has absolutely zero idea what equipment, tactics, or logistics are needed at this time to plan for a war with the League.

      Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Remember that Bismarck’s AA was only calibrated for faster, newer planes – the Swordfish got through exactly because they they were too old and too slow.

      I’m not the author, but I’m pretty sure that the League wouldn’t have that problem.

      Reply
      1. By donald j johnson on

        also AA was not the priority is was later in the war at time of Bismark. the LOT AA most likely is not as capable as it would have been later as they had no enemy aircraft so may not have had as much as if they had launched later in the war.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Agreed. 1930s BBs were still being built with a secondary battery designed to engage cruisers & DDs. Think the Nelson’s & Richelieu’s with a fairly light AAA suite behind a 6″ secondary battery. The USN was the same, albeit transitioning to a 5″ DP secondary battery during the 1930s refits.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Thinking about it, the Treaty cruisers & DDs were in even worse shape for AAA. At best they’d have 4-8 4″ or 5″ DP with timed fuses & a few .30/.50 caliber MGs. Some had 2-4 20mm or 40mm, but still an almost negligible AAA battery compared to later in the war. My dad was on a Gold Plater, the USS Benham, DD-397, & they had 4×5″/38DPs & 4 .50 cal BMGs, considered adequate for the time.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            To be exact, by the late-1930s most navies recognized the advantages of dual-purpose secondary battery, but not everyone was capable to produce good enough DP gun in time. The USN and RN and IJN managed to do that. French Navy was actually the first to introduce the DP battery on “Dunkerque”-class, but then they made a mistake of trying to build a DP 6-inch guns, which didn’t work well. German navy never recognized the need for DP mounts at all, Italian navy was strictly Mediterranean and considered the destroyer threat as more actual for theater. And USSR haven’t actually decided what is the best.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            True for the late 1930s & as the LOT arrived in 1939, some of the BBs should have a decent AAA suite, but the directors of the time were poor & without proximity fuses hit probabilities went down dramatically. The escorts, especially the DDs would be in even worse shape.

          4. By donald j johnson on

            My feeling is that the league of Tripoli’s biggest failing and the allies greatest asset is the large number of aircraft the a)lies have. so the allies lose at 10 to one. they can build new ones and the league can not. yes the allies lose a bunch of pilots but in a week the league has lost all its ireplaceable aircraft.

          5. By Steve Moore on

            Lose pilots too. And Fleashooters were going down at what, a 6 to one? Ten to one? rate before the P-40’s arrived. Don’t think like Esshsk.

          6. By Alexey Shiro on

            //My feeling is that the league of Tripoli’s biggest failing and the allies greatest asset is the large number of aircraft the a)lies have. so the allies lose at 10 to one. they can build new ones and the league can not. yes the allies lose a bunch of pilots but in a week the league has lost all its ireplaceable aircraft.//

            One problem – a few days of such tactic interpretation, and Alliance pilots would start to defect to League.

          7. By Lou Schirmer on

            Using tactics which play to the P-1s strengths will cut losses dramatically. The way the LOT pilots cut through the P-1s at Zanzibar was due to their lack of air to air combat experience & being surprised when the LOT pilots cut into their on going fight with Muriname’s planes.
            Now they know the MacchiSchmidt’s capabilities, they should relegate their remaining P-40s to aggressor training against the P-1 pilots so they can develop tactics to neutralize the faster fighters strengths. In the Pacific the zero was technically superior to the US P-40s & navy Wildcats, but the kill ratios don’t reflect that, due to senior pilots working out tactics to counter them. The same thing occurred in Finland & Malta where theoretically vastly inferior Finn & Italian fighters did quite well against their opponents when used correctly.

          8. By Justin on

            Makes sense… though it wouldn’t hurt to start reverse-engineering a BMW 132 or what’s left of the Beaufort’s Taurus’.

          9. By Lou Schirmer on

            That or the PBYs 1,200 HP Twin Wasp engines they’ve probably been working on for at least two years now, might be ready for testing in a suitable airframe soon.

          10. By Generalstarwars333 on

            I feel like comparing the difference between a Machischmidt and a P-1 and comparing the difference between a zero and a wildcat isn’t really a good comparison since the zero and the wildcat were at least on a similar technology level and each had their own advantages, while the P-1’s only real advantage over the Machischmidt is that the allies have a lot of them. Sure, they can work out some tactics to beat them, but they’re still going to take heavy casualties because the difference in quality is so large.

          11. By donald j johnson on

            the p40 was faster than the jap 0 but the jap 0 could turn inside the p40. the p40 was faster and has self sealing gastanks also flew higher. 0 had twin 37mm p40 had 6 50 call

          12. By donald j johnson on

            I forgot the p40 had 200 rounds per gun. the 0 had 50

          13. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Zero’s had twin 20’s, not 37’s. But aside from that, my case in point. They each had advantages and disadvantages that made them more or less equal.

          14. By Lou Schirmer on

            OK, Zeros & P-40s, not a great example. How about the Brewster Buffalo in the Finnish theater? Widely considered an obsolete POS by American pilots, it did quite well for the Finns against both the Russians & Germans. Or the Fiat CR.32s & 42s against the Hurricanes at Malta. If you play to your strengths, even an “obsolete” fighter can do the job.
            For the P-1Cs against MacchiSchmidts: Disadvantages: They can’t out run or out dive them & they can’t climb higher than them (no supercharger & no O2 equipment). Advantages: Numbers, maneuverability, spares & maintenance. They also may be able to out zoom (not sustained) climb to get some space to maneuver.
            Tactics: If attacked, turn into it & fire on them. Do NOT attempt to run unless to setup the pursuer or in appropriately cloudy skies. DO try & make it a turning dog fight, the slower the better. Use formations in strength to support each other. If one is attacked the enemy may not have seen the other & you can surprise them. Most formations of the time were built around a lead pilot & a wingman, pair these in flights of four or more.
            They’re still going to take losses, but they can make it cost the LOT.
            This is all theoretical anyway. By the time the LOT & allies get into it, the Union should have stronger engines & better fighters in production.

          15. By Steve Moore on

            P-1s would be in the same position as I-16’s fighting Me 109s in the Spanish Civil War. Alexey, are there any surviving I-16’s in Russia?

          16. By Alexey Shiro on

            At least two authentic I-16, and several rebuilds witn the use of parts from old crashes.

          17. By Justin on

            The I-15 seems like a better analogue for the Union. Still possible to get victories, but it’s going to be a seriously lopsided fight if the Union goes in as-is.

        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          These are all probably moot points. By the time the LOT & allies get into it, the Union should have stronger engines & better fighters in production. The Lot should also have some infrastructure in place by then to produce their own aircraft. Probably not up to the specs of the MacchiSchmidt, but some sort of rival for whatever the allies will have by then.

          Reply
          1. By donald j johnson on

            Remember The league still a slave societee and slaves don’t have the will to produce that the free societee does

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            I thought they were fascists. Fascists do quite well at producing materiel. I don’t think we know enough about their current society to know if they’re moving towards a slave based industry or not. Hopefully Taylor fleshes that out down the road.

          3. By Justin on

            The League’s been here about three years longer than the main protagonists have – ten bucks says they have (some) homebuilt aircraft already.

            If they are built with slave labour though, there’s a good chance that half of them will fall out of the sky and the other half will be shooting duds. Fingers crossed.

          4. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Where exactly did you get the idea that they use slaves? It’s never been stated in the books, at least as far as I can recall.

          5. By Charles Simpson on

            General perhaps not slaves but second class citizens Straits of Hell Hardback page 9 during Kurokawa’s first interview with the League, “Kurokawa was interested to se that the strangers were not surprised. or even overly nervous about the Grik servants. Obviously, they not only knew of the Grik, but they also knew they could be “domesticated.””

            I should point out that when discussing slavery people often call slaves servants.

          6. By Justin on

            Bear in mind that A) the League is already inclined to think of non-Europeans/Lemurians/Grik as “subhuman,” B) they’re likely short on industrial power, and C) they’re a bunch of Dastardly Whiplash villains. Slaves or other kinds of forced labour are definitely a guess, but an educated guess regardless.

          7. By Alexey Shiro on

            Not outright slavery, probably. Let’s not forget, there are France component in League, and France was pretty egalitarian. The Italian also tended to treat loyal colonial subjects pretty well (up to the point when the first Italian paratropper reigment was composed from arabs and berbers).

            So, probably different levels of citizenship based on loyality and social development of locals. Human locals are probably treated pretty well, allowed to serve in League military, ect. Lemurian & Grik locals are probably “subjugated for their own good” as workforce, but hardly mistreated too much (at least as long as they did not try to rebel or run away). Forced labour – yes, punishment for disobediense – yes, but I think no mass killings and no starvation.

          8. By William Curry on

            Don’t forget that there are a number of forms of fascism. Not all forms follow that of National Socialist Germany. Italian fascism had a number of Jews among its founders.

          9. By Alexey Shiro on

            And Brazilean Integralist party was rigidly anti-rasist & internationalistic.

          10. By Paul Nunes on

            If the League was an invasion forxe meant to take Egypt.

            There is a large logistixal train for the ground forxes embarked on the League transports. The ratio of support troops to xombat troops varies from 10 to 1 to up to 20 to 1.

            The League must very well have thousands of machinists, mechanics, welders, fitters, technicians, with their tools.

            The ratio of support troops to combat arms varies with Branch. The Infantry may be at 10 to 1 with armorers, mechanics, radio men, truck drivers, cooks, supply, etc. Go over to Armor and the jumps to 20 to 1 in technicians of all sorts to keep that armor running. Airxraft or air squadrons and your at 20-1 again.

            The League should not be doubted on the state of their industrialization. Far safer to over estimate.

            The Machi-Messerschmidts may well be as expendable to the League as Savoie and already a second line fighter in the League.

    2. By Justin on

      A better example might be the twin-engined bombers that attacked and sank Prince of Wales and Repulse. If they can get something close to a Nell or Betty, their odds go up almost exponentially.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Smith on

        Didn’t Silva and friends discover a crashed betty in north borneo? would that be able to give any idea’s which way to go in development of bomber/torpedo planes?

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Completely forgot about that one. If they haven’t asked the Khonashi if they can take it, they really should.

          However, the G4M (like with most Japanese warplanes) achieved its good performance partly by having no protection or armour whatsoever… so I think they shouldn’t take too many ideas from it.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Think they were more excited about the Shee-Ree’s Beaufort shrine.. wonder if they’re going to make any .303 ammo for the Lewis guns?

          2. By Steve Moore on

            As I recall it was pretty much in pieces. Plus, it’s engineered in aluminum. Next multi-engine step may be a JU 152

          3. By Justin on

            .303’s not that much different from .30; I say let Miles and the Shee-Ree shoot the Lewis’ dry, then hand them some M1917s.

            The 152’s aluminum too, though…. maybe they’ll just gather up all the wrecks, pick the best features of each, then make a brand new radial for a brand new twin-engine.

          4. By Justin on

            Charles pointed out that they’d need Hall-Heroult to do aluminum, and that requires cryolite (in Greenland, so not possible right now) or a synthetic equivalent.

            Alexey’s advocating thin sheet steel, and Mr. Anderson’s suggested that they might be able to do a P-36 with moulded plywood… though Matt observed that wood glue doesn’t hold up well in dogfights.

          5. By donaldjj on

            One thing to remember is that really morans are very intelligent and they’re just liable to discover fiberglass or Some peopleing similar very soon .And doesn’t have to be real Fiberglass just a close a faxcemily such as canvas with epoxy paint which is very strong. Yes I realize that fiberglass has problems with UV but not in the 1st 5 years generally if the epoxy is the right kind.

          6. By Lou Schirmer on

            If you paint the epoxy resin after it sets & is sanded, it should provide some UV protection.

          7. By Justin on

            Sounds good, so long as they can mass-produce it. AFAIK WW2 fibreglass was limited to a few aircraft parts from one factory.

            Speaking of the Union gearing up, is it likely that the League is gearing down? A Peashooter equivalent (allowing them to leave the M&Ms in reserve) would seriously reduce the Union’s “numbers” advantage.

          8. By Paul Smith on

            Didn’t the engines have 2 stage supercharging? They could look at that for ideas on supercharging their own home-grown radials.

          9. By Paul Nunes on

            Some of these designs will be better of if the Republic begins to refine titanium. South Africa being one of two places with a large vein of this ore.

          10. By Lou Schirmer on

            Titanium use in almost anything will be in the far distant future for them. It’s a pain to get to the pure metal & very difficult to work with. The USSR was the first to really use it militarily in the late 1950s & that was for large & reasonably simple submarine plates. The USA used it primarily for high temperature applications in the turbine section of jets. In comparison, aluminum will be a lot easier to put into use.

          11. By Paul Nunes on

            This would solve a LOT of problems.

            Max. takeoff weight: 12,860 kg (28,350 lb)

            Powerplant: 2 × Mitsubishi MK4A-11 “Kasei” 14 cylinder radial engines, 1,141 kW (1,530 hp) each

            Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton Standard licensed Sumitomo constant speed variable-pitch

      2. By Steve Moore on

        Just curious; A question for the air-minded.

        Would there be enough room, or enough load-bearing capacity on the Nancy wing, to replace the WG engine with a 10-cylinder radial? Added speed, added capacity, elimination of one of two engine systems to maintain on carriers.

        Ditto for the Buzzards, cut 3 engine mounts down to 2. Maybe use the Buzzard as the stalking horse for developing faired engine mounts, instead of interrupting PB-5 construction.

        Take a spare radial or two and build some airboats for shallow water work up the Zambezi. Enough room to carry M2’s, maybe a mortar team or two. Laney’s still working on the rockets, I guess.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Good ideas. I don’t think the current Nancy wing & strut system would be able to hold up under more than doubling the HP. The weight would be slightly less of an issue, since even though the radial is bigger, the in-line is water cooled, but it would mess with the weight & balance of the plane. They could design a similar plane built to handle the HP. It would probably be slightly larger & since it’s a hand cranked, inertial starting engine, the observer could be located where ever they wanted. The result would be more capable, faster, better climb rate, heavier ordnance load etc.. They could even make it a true amphibian with a simple, mechanical gear retraction system or an add-on kit as needed.

          The Buzzard could probably handle two radials, but the wing itself & supports would have to be redesigned & location adjusted to rebalance the airframe. That would make fairing the engines while they’re at it a no-brainer. It would look like a smaller Catalina PBY.

          I think we’ve discussed the airboat idea before & I’m all for it for river work. They probably need a brown water squadron of some sort anyway, if they’re going any serious distance up the Zambesi & tributaries. The MTBs to start & airboats are quick & easy to build. Maybe some shallow draft gun boats as well with heavier weapons & some armor to give troops fire support where it’s too shallow for ships. Like a larger, flat bottomed MTB with a Derby gun on a pivot mount, a couple of heavy mortars & some M2s behind a light casemate of 1″ plate backed by wood. Enough to keep out small arms fire. Powered by the same engines the MTBs use.

          Reply
    3. By Generalstarwars333 on

      See, Charles, the Bismark didn’t have any fighters to tear into the allied aircraft. We saw what the League’s MM’s did to the union’s Peashooters, which are some of the most modern planes they’ve got in production. With that in mind, and the fact that I think someone on here once said most french battleships had floatplane fighters, I’d say that yes, not having modern planes is in fact a problem.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Forget the battleships, sink the fleet train, They wouldn’t have needed much to sail from Italy to Libya, so my guess is they don’t have a whole lot of tankers; the Spanish oiler was more intended to keep the subs going, and the Savoie was on a one-way trip anyway. I’m still guessing the LOT has oil resources in West Africa, isn’t their oil very light, like the Dutch East Indies?

        Reply
        1. By Paul Smith on

          if I remember, most European navies (Spain & France) were designed for the atlantic, i.e. stormy weather and shorted legs than the pacific. most definitely go after the tankers & fleet replenishment ships.

          Reply
        2. By Justin on

          Sure, but that assumes that the League is holding the Idiot Ball and has left their supply ships without escort or protection. Remember that right now, even just a few decent Dommie musketeers can down a Union flyer.

          Reply
      2. By Steve Moore on

        How’d those MM’s get there? Must have flown from Ethiopia? Refueled on the beach from the Spanish oiler? Pilots and ground crew? Spares?

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Maybe they came crated, like with Catalina’s P-40s?

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            On what? Savoie? The oiler? Maybe crated to Libya, but they flew from somwhere, just like Gravois did on his first visit

          2. By Justin on

            Or another tender that’s now off doing something somewhere else. The League’s proven capable of sneaking ships past the Cape, and they’ve got a whole lot of auxiliaries.

          3. By donald johnson on

            Just found some comments i made that are still waiting moderation. Someone is slow around here

            By Justin on 11 May, 2018
            Or another tender that’s now off doing something somewhere else. The League’s proven capable of sneaking ships past the Cape, and they’ve got a whole lot of auxiliaries.

            By donaldjj on 13 May, 2018
            Your comment is awaiting moderation.

            The odds are that the Maki meshersmits Came in a Box the reason I say this is because having that any successful Landings in a storm is unlikely but being boxed on their original trip over is a very practical means of bringing them after all they were getting ready to Fight, they didn’t come over Fighting. You must remember that they did not have carriers .

  13. By Steve Moore on

    Got a question for the Anderson Aeronautical Engineering Corp… assuming they picked up a couple of examples of Muriname’s DP1, would the frame be strong enough to absorb the recoil of a couple of M2’s? Or if they’ve got the ammo, a couple of leftover Hotchkiss as a temporary expedient? It wouldn’t be a production item, but more often than not, front-line mechanics dreamed up some crazy ideas. It can carry torpedoes and bombs, just curious about the airframe. If this is going to be an ‘all-in’ fight, bring whatever you can, I say.

    Reply
  14. By Charles Simpson on

    We know trench warfare is coming in the Destroyermen books, fire bombs exist, but here is another try:

    https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/04/07/flechettes/

    Tanks could not penetrate the full enemy defenses, but came into their own in 1940 something the Destroyermen would know.

    The Germans used gas to try to break the stalemate, the enemy adapted. This looks like a boomdoggle to me. Discussion

    Reply
    1. By donald j johnson on

      These were mentioned about 2 years ago as a potential weapon during the Celon/India campaigns. I knowI mentioned them and others also mentioned them. I also mentioned hem as a way to destroy the nests of the grik birds in SA

      Reply
    2. By Paul Nunes on

      You need dozens of lathes and milling machines turning those out and the trained machinists to use them.

      Do they have that resource to spare from making small arms?

      Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Lazy Boys were discussed in greater depth on one of the previous pages. I’d argue that without a cluster bomb to deliver them, the Allies’d be better off with napalm.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Agree, napalm would deny access. But Pokey might have to create a Pokey Platoon to pick up all the Lazy Dogs for reuse…

            Speaking of the ‘reborn’ Griks, wonder what’s going to happen to them? Transferred to the Hi Jeerky Homestead? Seems to me the more mechanically inclined could be put to work building small craft powered by (no, not rockets) zep engines. Light, low speed, good torque and might be something else that Colonel Miles could oversee…

    1. By Generalstarwars333 on

      I can’t see the picture right now(goat’s ass is blocked by my county’s school system), but I imagine it’s either T-34’s or Il-2’s.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Total anti-tank overkill! I love it! If it doesn’t work, you’re not using a big enough hammer. :)

        Reply
      2. By Steve Moore on

        Cut down naval rifle? Looks a little short. Guess Alexey doesn’t have a problem parking where he wants to.

        Reply
      3. By William Curry on

        It’s a 152mm Gun-Howitzer not a naval rifle. It was designed as a self-propelled artillery piece not a tank destroyer. It was used to take out tanks in ambush. It suffered from light armor and a limited ammo capacity (20 rounds) and originally had no machine gun. It could be taken out by a German 8.8cm tank or AA gun at longer range and the 7.5cm high velocity gun at close range. All that being said it was known for knocking off the turrets of Tigers from blast effect along. The US Army has the M12 gun-motor-carriage which had a 155mm gun mounted on it that was often used as an ersatz assault gun in built up or urban areas as one or two shells from it would generally bring a building down. The SU-152 would have been similarly effective as an assault gun for which it was designed.

        Reply
      4. By Alexey Shiro on

        //No it is a 6″ naval rifle on a tank chasies //

        Not exactly, it is 152-mm howitzer-gun on IS tank chasse. ISU-152 – which basically means “Samokhodnaya Ustanovka na osnove tanka IS” (“self-propelled mount on IS tank chasse). The main weapon is 152-mm ML-20 howitzer-gun, which was arguably the best gun of her type in 1940s.

        Reply
      5. By Matt on

        As Alexei said its a howitzer. Naval guns tend to be heavier built than land based artillery and tank cannons. They aren’t well suited for the task and vice versa.

        Reply
        1. By William Curry on

          The US Army in WWII had an 8″ naval gun on a towed ground mount. It was basically the same gun used in heavy cruisers. The 8″ gun M1 was the longest ranged piece the US Army had in WWII with a range in excess of 36,000 yards. Had to be broken down into 3 loads for transport and the gun was issued with a truck mounted crane to assemble and disassemble it. It took several hours to emplace it and get it ready for firing.

          Reply
      6. By Generalstarwars333 on

        So the Elephant had the Pak-43 88mm anti-tank gun on it, not a naval gun. The Jadgtiger had a naval gun on it (pak-44 128mm) though. I figure the ISU-152 would do a number on a tiger. Heck, so would the IS-2, since there are reports of its HE shells having a similar effect on tigers and panthers as the six-incher on the 152.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          allegedly the 152 could blow the turret off a Tiger with its HE shell.

          Reply
    2. By Justin on

      That’s an ISU-152. Built to kill Tigers, which in turn were built to kill KV-1s. Makes our proposed 4″/50 Armoured SPG look like a peashooter by comparison.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Did 1930’s European militaries go in for assault guns? More of a German and Soviet idea, I thought. They had problems understanding the best role of tanks as it was. Best thing I can imagine for the Union right now is something like a M5 Stuart. Armored against small arms, quick, light, and carrying a 45mm gun in a turret. Useful in a lot of theaters. Not to mention developing a tank industry.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          The USSR initially tried for the “howitzer tank” concept – the first attempt was T-26A and BT-7А “Artilleryyskye tanki”. They were armed with short-barrel 76-mm gun (the usual armament of T-26 and BT tanks were 45-mm gun).
          Just before WW2, the KV-2, armed with turret-mounted 152-mm howitzer was created.

          Eventually, it was realized that the fire support function could be fulfilled without turret, and howitzer-armed tanks/turreted assault guns were dropped.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Thanks, Alexey. Must be nice to live near an armor museum. Closest for me is around 1800 miles. Easier to find air museums.

        2. By Justin on

          IIRC, none of them had assault guns in the late Thirties. Most of the early war TDs were field pieces MacGuyver-ed onto whatever chassis they could find.

          Stuarts would be fast and reliable, but they’ve got relatively weak armour and firepower.
          By contrast, ASPGs (Armoured/Advanced SPGs, or “asparagus” as Silva’d probably call them) would be less mobile, but more able to deal and receive punishment (not to mention doubling as arty). That’s how the US Army created the Lee: their 75mm gun wouldn’t fit in any turret, so they stuffed it in the casemate as a stopgap, counting on the Sherman to take over a few years later.

          IMO, they should try for both types. Keep the heavy SPGs in groups along the front line, punching holes in the enemy defences and stopping the League from returning the favour. Once there’s a hole, light tanks and assault units can punch though, keep going until they’ve hit the objective and the rest of the army catches up. Rinse and repeat… in theory, at least.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            I think the germans had their StuG 3’s in the late ’30’s, and those were originally meant specifically as assault guns. As for the idea of the light and heavy tanks, sounds a lot like the whole british plan to have the infantry and cruiser tanks, which didn’t work out too well.

          2. By Justin on

            They have to start somewhere. It’s not like the Union can just jump to Shermans tomorrow.

            Besides, the failure of the British doctrine IIRC was more to do with overspecialization than tactics; the cruiser tanks were too light, and the infantry tanks too slow (and also too light). The protagonists should definitely try to avoid that.

          3. By Generalstarwars333 on

            I will say the british infantry tanks like the matilda weren’t too light. In fact, early in the war they were pretty much KV-1’s: Nothing but an 88 had a snowball’s chance in hell against them, and it would kill any existing german tank the moment it saw it.

            As for the allied tanks…well….I’m not sure, but I think the type 96 and the 3″/23 might be similar in size, or at least the size of the part that would need to be inside the tank. Why not have something like their current design, albeit in a more reliable form, and have versions with 3″/23’s or type 96’s in the sponsons/wherever you want to mount them. Really, if they want any numbers, they should simplify the number of chassis needed as much as possible.

          4. By Matt on

            Not light in weight but definitely light in armament. The 2 pounder while fast, accurate and good penetration for early war – only fired solid shot and became insufficient pretty quickly.

          5. By Justin on

            Matt: Also light in protection; the Matildas apparently did poorly against any German AT larger than 5cm.
            If I were Reddy, I’d want any Union ISU to come with at least 3″ of 45-degree frontal armour. Portable enough to maintain a decent speed, yet thick enough to bounce even a League 88 at long range.

            General: I see what you’re saying, but remember that the current AFVs are a testbed. Feedback from the front could very well result in a completely new chassis and vehicles after the Grik campaign.
            Besides, a .30 cal sponson definitely won’t fit a 3″/76mm without rebuilding the tank… not to mention that sponsons in general mean a high silhouette and inability to hull-down. Better to migrate all the guns into the hull or the turret.

          6. By Charles Simpson on

            Chack-Sab-At has already thought the tank needs a turret with a 1.5 inch, (37 mm) or two inch, (50 mm) gun minimum. A three inch, (75 mm) or a four inch (100 mm) gun should rock any 1930s tank.

            The alliance plans is to get the army ashore in Africa, dig trenches and let the Grik waste the Swarm on futile attacks. Esshk used trenches at Grik City and may return to defense forcing the alliance to attack. At this point the tank as an anti trench weapon comes to the fore, the terrain is relatively flat and not forested. If the tanks have the speed and range a hooking attack such as Rommel used against the British in the North African campaign might work biting off bits of the swarm to destroy.

            Remember the bane of trench warfare is enfilade fire hit the end of the trench and roll up the defenders.

          7. By William Curry on

            The Germans in the Great War called the technique “aufrollen”. Basically everybody in the war developed or copied the same technique. Handguns and grenades were the weapons of choice.

          8. By William Curry on

            In this context “aufrollen” is usually translated as “roll up”.

          9. By Charles Simpson on

            Here is a link to a translation of the article on Wikipedia: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fde.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FAufrollen&edit-text=

            Aufrollen

            roll up

            Jump to: navigation , search
            Rolling up is an attacking elemental tactic aimed at an opponent’s flank and progressively trying to beat one section after the other.
            In this way one defeated department is pushed to the next, which is thus involved in the defeat. This military tactic is all the more promising, the less the attacked area is set in depth, so that the distressed departments can dodge.
            Other meanings Edit ]
            In the above sense, the term is also colloquially used in football .
            In the figurative sense, the term meant to reveal something (the past), clarify the background of a case.

          10. By Lou Schirmer on

            A 4″ tank version of the 4″/50 (shortened) would probably be too much for an early design chassis to handle. The low pressure 3″/23 on the other hand would be an almost ideal choice. I’d put it in an armored casemate with limited traverse & elevation for right now though. A turret with it would need to be powered & might be a bit complex for an initial medium tank design. Add an armored cupola up top with a .50 behind a shield for the tank commander & maybe a co-axial .50 with the main gun & they’d have something that could handle anything the LOT would have. Use the 10 cylinder radial for power & it would be fairly quick too.

          11. By Lou Schirmer on

            Sweet! Not sure about the open top though, unless it will have a dual role as anti-tank & howitzer.

          12. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Justin did say to imagine it’s a closed top design. I can’t see the specific image since deviantart is blocked, but from looking at real world T-40’s it reminds me of a Marder, which was a plenty successful tank destroyer.

          13. By Lou Schirmer on

            An open top design could be used to increase the main guns elevation & serve a dual role as self propelled artillery & anti- tank or assault gun. Or they could just make the casemate capable of elevating high enough for indirect fire with a splinter protection roof that can be opened to keep the crew cooled when not expecting action or being used as artillery support.

          14. By Paul Nunes on

            Oh wait.

            I see the problem. Assault Guns and Tank Destroyers are two different types of vehicle with different missions.

            I think this confusion comes from the Stug 3 that began life as an Assault gun and followed the infantry, then later was made into adhoc tank destroyers due to urgent need by replacing the main gun. Jadgpanzers and Stugs look visually similar while having two different purposes.

  15. By Steve Moore on

    Re-reading the library again, with a break every now and then for a chapter or two of “The Two-Ocean War” permanently shelved in the smaller reading room. And it struck me. Grik Zep engines. Light weight (13o lbs), 40-50 HP. economical to run. OK, not enough for my 3/4 Dodge idea, or a Bren gun carrier , but maybe Kubelwagens. Or Model T’s. Drop a load of them and spare parts at the nearest RRP machine works and see what they come up with. Even a rail jitney would be useful.

    Wonder if Orrin ever gave the Governor an aerial tour of the Enchanted Isles, spotting for tortises. After you’ve read the books a few times, you start wandering off on different forks. Did Tikker and Risa ever hook up? What does Tabby think when Spanky casts his gaze upon some dusky maid? Guess we’ll find out sometime, maybe when the graphic novel comes out.

    Reply
  16. By Joe Thorsky on

    Gentlemen/
    How embarrassing can it be that one of the only few Destroyermen characters who’s really quite knowledgeable about the American Civil War and its history is General Tomatsu Shinya.

    Lou-ROB is in need of SHALLOW DRAFT platforms that can operate freely in coastal waters and rivers. PT Boats, LCVP Higgins Boats, Floating Batteries and Barges as well as Taylor made versions of the LCM-R class of vessel are exactly what’s needed in any Riverine campaign.
    These are the viable and doable solutions to the problem that ROB seeks to answer and resolve.
    In addition, The Alliance already has demonstrated it’s wartime capability, experience and proficiency in amphibious operations.
    And platforms like these are the game changing, plot twisting Monkey Wrench Throwers that are fully capable of being the force multipliers, force extractors and the siege breaking tools that the job seems to require.

    I would refer you all to:
    Wartime performance and history of the Union Ironclad Carondelet.
    Development of the Lyle Gun
    Civil War use of Floating Batteries
    https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/lt-harleston-brings-on-the-brick-dust/
    So, what other arguments have you all got to offer that can persuade and convince me of the error of my ways?

    Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Putting a line across a river is an initial step in all sorts of projects. Pontoon bridges, ferry systems, a basis for hauling heavier obstacles like Charles’ blockade chain, submerged lines with small or large improvised mines, secure communications across the river (if they think the Grik may have radio by now).

        Reply
      2. By Joe Thorsky on

        Lou
        Exactly! it’s usefulness isn’t in the GUN but the type/kind
        of “Line” that it can deploy.
        For Example:
        Think Blimp buster harpoons
        Pineapples in a mason jar attached to netting
        instant AA defense /Minelayers on the cheap
        Good try! I’ll GRANT you that!

        Reply
      3. By Justin on

        A) The Grik have zeppelins, not blimps. Zeppelins have a steel frame and redundant gas cells, which is why it was so hard for WWI guns to shoot them down.

        B) The Brits tried that that kind of AA with their Unrotated Projectiles. Didn’t work at all.

        Lou’s got a point; in addition, grapples might have a purpose in cliff-scaling or search and rescue. Combat-wise, the Aarmy and Maarines would probably prefer Grik rockets.

        Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      As far as I know, the only flat bottomed craft the Union had got mostly shot up during the Zanzibar landings. They’re fairly easy to build, but they seem to be going with what they have, which are mostly deep draft vessels.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Besides, if the Zambezi is deep enough for Catalina, the rest of the Union (save Tarakaan and the Homes) should have no problem.

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Hmm. It’s no spoiler to state that the main channel is deep enough, since it’s established that Grik BBs can transit it.

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          True enough for the deep draft ships, but galleys are (usually) shallow draft & will be able to get past the ships needing to stay in the main channel. Even if the main channel gets blocked, it needs to be in a narrow enough part of the river that the landing troops artillery can deal with them, if they have any to spare from Grik trying to stop or throw back the landings. If not, may be entirely up to the carriers air group to at least blunt the flood of galleys headed for Mada-Gaas-Gar. If Esshk realizes what’s happening with the landings, he may even direct the later waves of galleys that get by to try & attack the Union landings from the rear. If the Union lands on both sides of the river, the north bank forces will eventually be attacked by presumably very heavy forces pulled from the Grik population centers to the north. They are unknown by the Union, but the river has a very extensive system of tributaries & lakes to the north & east (at least in our AU), enough to support a huge population. Especially since they seem to have temporarily stopped or reduced the Choosing.

          Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Think Tomatsu was probably hanging out at the library instead of with the frat boys

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Question for Mr. Anderson – is Shinya being addressed by his surname or given name? Can never be sure, because half the Western world’s authors flip it around and the other half doesn’t.

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Uh . . . Yeah, and there’s a whole other can of worms under this one. Shinya is his surname–and like you, having seen both constantly and interchangeably used in my various readings myself, I chose to be consistent throughout with common Western usage for Japanese characters. Not right I know, but less confusing to most readers. And I did the same for characters from the Republic. Many cultures represented there–including the Romanesque–would have gone by the last listed name and not the first. Again I chose not to clutter the narrative with confusing exceptions to usage–particularly since Lemurians are almost ALWAYs “exceptions” themselves. Open bigger can of worms here:
          (Admiral Keje, Lt. Tab(by)-At, General Faan, Colonel Chack, etc.) are but a few examples. Jis-(Tikker)-Tikkar is one of many excepts, as is Rolak.

          I actually wrote a lot more here and realized several hundred words into it that I’d only begun the explanation and said “the hell with it, I have to write other stuff” and just deleted it. Sorry, but just be glad I never burdened a book (and cut into the wordcount) with the whole thing. Maybe I’ll let Courtney do it someday. Suffice to say for now that there WERE “rules,” and there were many exceptions to the rules due to comingling, old and new land Home vs. seagoing Homes, daughter Homes, two-name vs. three name (or one name–Sky Priests–) Even STYLE and pronunciations of names had rules I had contrived (and over-thought the hell out of) . . . See? Be glad.

          Reply
          1. By Joe Thorsky on

            I’d Say that there’s a Lot of LEEway that
            we should demur to the Author and storyteller here.
            WHEW!!! Hardtack anyone?

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            Joe the majority read the series for entertainment, not learning the obscure rules of imaginary languages. We learn more about culture in the next book but mostly it’s fairly consistent action in two theaters of war and a look at the Grik.

    3. By donald j johnson on

      You must remember that Shinwa was if my memory is correct, a student in america for a year or more in america. I do not have my books handy so I may be incorrect and mixing him up with the Jap admiral who I do know was a student hers.

      Reply
    4. By Paul Nunes on

      So something that is easily flanked and destroyed by fire from the sides?

      Why on earth build that? For an assault on a river narrow enough that muzzle loading cannon would pound this into splinters?

      Reply
  17. By Lou Schirmer on

    I wonder what sort of surprises the Grik are going to pull on the Union when they try to break out of the Zambesi? They always seem to have something unusual going on. I’ll bet they have some of their cruisers cut down to make high speed rams out of them. Get all CSA on them. Cut the entire superstructure off, install a heavily armored (BB or thicker forward) casemate with one or two of their heaviest guns forward, a few light pieces in the broadside & AA mortars & rockets. Granted they’re only rated for 12 knots, but maybe the Union isn’t the only one improving their engines, plus they’ll be coming downriver, increasing their speed. The Santa Catalina & other Union ships are not going to have much room to maneuver in a river. A charge like that could conceivably break the blockade & let the galleys loose.
    If Kurokawa gave them some torpedoes, or Muriname brought some south with him, they could be a brutal, one shot surprise, fired either from the cruisers, or camouflaged rafts.
    They have missiles in abundance, they could setup hidden batteries in the jungle along the shoreline & use a mix of explosives & firebombs. They aren’t accurate, but fire enough into a confined space & you could do a lot of damage. I say confined space because the entire width of the river will not be navigable to large ships, whereas light, low draft galleys can just run past in the shallows if the heavy Union ships are engaged with the cruisers & rams.
    Soften the Union advance with rockets, hit them with the rams at a choke point, swarm the ships with the galleys & they might have a shot at getting to Mada-Gaas-Gar. They may not have the ability to do anything by then, since they’ll soak up a lot of casualties getting to sea & even more from constant aircraft attack afterwards.
    River of Bones seems apt the more I think about it.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      I wouldn’t envy the screw DDs – it’d be like standing on the Cumberland while a faster, battleship-sized Virginia bears down on you.

      Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Bottlenecks work both ways. They may not want to resort to gas, but how about the LOVE BOMB, now that they have a Grik female.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        Grik pheromones reptiles need to smell female pheromones to become sexually aroused, a bomb of such pheromones and males go into mating fights makes Grik Rout look like a Sunday School picnic!

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Then of course, the bloodshed drives the rest of them nuts.

          Reply
      2. By Justin on

        Send a few dozen jars to the Republic – it’s going to work a whole lot better on land than against several thousand ships.

        Reply
    3. By Matt on

      I dont think their engines would improve much at this point. The Grik’s industrial strength is in how they can leverage the Ull to massive projects broken down to very simple tasks. There is no real limit on scale, logistics allowing, but there is in complexity. I see them going for mass and I think you are right on the rockets. They are pretty simple to assemble and make save for the gun powder so you could really ramp up production to have an absurd amount of those things. Quantity has a quality of its own and of you throw enough of those down range it doesn’t matter if they are inaccurate. That could be devastating. I don’t think the rockets could do more than superficial damage to walker but even then they would be a threat to deck crews and all of the smoke would make navigation near impossible.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        The Walker & clones have thin steel plates which a rocket with an explosive warhead could easily penetrate, but they may or may not make it into the Zambesi operation due to the damage received at Zanzibar. The steam DDs & DEs on the other hand would be very vulnerable to massed rocket attack. Even the Santa Catalina would take damage since the only part of her with armor is the central citadel & casemates. If she’s not supported by the shore landings, there’s no way for them to seriously block the river. If they can push forward on land to a sharp bend in the river, they have a chance, if not they’re hosed. If one of the new trained Grik officers gets the bright idea of landing on the coast behind the Union troops instead of trying for Mada-Gaas-Car, the Union army would be surrounded…again & with the fleet shot to ribbons, very little support from the sea.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Maybe they could set up a couple of redoubts flanking Catalina? They only need to defend; if they can keep the river clear enough for the supply train to get through, then all that’s left is to wait for the Republic to show up.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            I think the key will be the army getting to the first major narrowing of the river at a sharp turn & as you say fort up before they hit major resistance. Taylor’s maps shows one where the river hooks to the south before turning NW again. The force on the northern side of the river is going to catch hell, since there maybe large numbers of Grik up there. Looking at a current map of Southern Africa there are some differences, but the Zambesi is a huge river with lost of lakes for construction & population mostly to the north & east of the landing areas.
            http://www.maps-continents.com/africa/images/map-southern-africa.jpg

          2. By Justin on

            South force isn’t exactly going to have a picnic either – as the Republic gets closer and closer, their part of the horde is going to press up against the Union.

        2. By Steve Moore on

          Just hoping the Uboat isn’t lurking around for a shot at Santa Catalina or the carriers. Wouldn’t put it past Gravois.

          Reply
          1. By Paul Smith on

            Now the Union knows how mountain fish react to sonar, any sonar contact they get-that stands up to sonar, they should be able to tell subs from organics. I still believe they should take a look at Hidoiame’s sonar. Even if it isn’t light years ahead of Walker’s, is it enough better to reproduce for new warships? Was Walker’s upgraded at any time in her history, or is it still post great-war era tech? Hidoiame was the last Kagero class built in 1939? I can’t remember, but wouldn’t the sonar be sufficiently improved over Walkers to warrant a second look?

    4. By Charles Simpson on

      All Muriname can bring to the fight is what he escaped with. The Grik will have a considerable lag time to upgrade production of say Radial Engines, and Machine Guns and the swarm is coming NOW while the bulk of the Union fleet is up North in Zanzibar. This is a come as you are party for both the Grand Swarm and TF Bottlecap. Remember Muriname only has the ordnance he brought with him or secreted in a mainland base. It will take years for Grik industry to catch up to resupply Muriname.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Correct. Anything Muriname can bring to the table for the Grik will be a one shot, be it torpedoes (only a few Jap planes got away so maybe only 2-3 torpedoes) or machine guns (whatever the planes carried & their ammo). Bombs are fairly easy to make though. Esshk & Muriname will have to figure out where to employ these, although IF they have any torpedoes, the Zambesi would seem to be where to use those. I’d give most of the machine guns & ammo to the southern army as a nasty surprise for the Republic troops at a critical moment.
        One other thing to consider is that blocking the Zambesi by sinking the Santa Catalina in the main channel will only stop the larger Grik ships. Maybe. If they can get her up to the first sharp bend in the river, It might be narrow enough to work. The shallow draft galleys though can just go around her & if the Grik can get to her uncontested, some hasty demolition work might be able to get them past her. It would depend on where she got scuttled & how deep & wide the river was there. If the river where she gets scuttled (if she does) is wide enough, she may not be able to fully block the larger Grik ships coming past her.

        Then there is the tantalizing prospect of the Republic protected cruiser to consider. Is she complete enough for them to rush her into combat? Stay tuned.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          I doubt that even the Bethesda yards could squeeze out a Scharnhorst in less than a year.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            It’s just labeled as “some kind of protected cruiser” so I doubt it’s going to be anything close to a Scharnhorst. You can find several instances, back in the coal fired steel navy days, where given enough incentive entire classes were designed, built & put to sea in less than a year. The Royal Navy & the HMS Dreadnaught comes to mind. So it’s possible they could do it with a simple & austere design. It maybe still in the commissioning & shakedown phase & they may even have dock workers aboard still finishing her, if the situation seems desperate enough at sea. I’m not saying it will since no one but Taylor (& maybe the Advanced Readers) has any details on her.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            //I doubt that even the Bethesda yards could squeeze out a Scharnhorst in less than a year.//

            They might just be going with a larger, ocean going version of the Princeps class monitors, which with most of the materials already in production, could take considerably less than a year to put to sea.
            Lengthen it about 75′, increase the beam a bit, add two decks for machinery, crew, & coal bunkers with a protected deck over them & the machinery & magazines, & a third 8″ turret per Taylor’s vague design criteria, some Derby guns as secondaries & larger engines to get her some speed & voila, an Imperator class cruiser!

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            //The Royal Navy & the HMS Dreadnaught comes to mind. //

            Her building time was basically a hoax; quite a lot of materials were pre-ordered and manufactured long before her actual construction started. Her actual building time was close to the average RN’s two years.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            True, most of her was fairly standard, but with a different main battery layout.

        2. By Joe Thorsky on

          Lou, Matt, Justin/Guys
          I would strongly suggest you in anticipation of Taylor’s ROB to tend to and refresh your US Civil War bona fides with an added emphasis directed towards:
          1. Pope’s New Madrid and Island No. 10 Campaign.
          2. Grant’s Yazoo Pass, Steele’s Bayou and Hard Times Expeditions against Vicksburg.
          I make this TAD * with the full disclaimer that I have had no communications, foreknowledge, nor active insight, second sight or any inherited or imbued six sense about ROB.
          Based somewhat entirely along these same lines of preliminary conjecture, surmise and supposition, a game changing, plot twisting Monkey Wrench Thrower that can easily overwhelm and dominate this forthcoming battlefield is THE answer that what’s likely called for here.
          Sending a Taylored Class (One of Twelve) LCM-R Apostles into the fray thus makes perfect sense as that force multiplier, force extractor and the siege breaking tool that this particular job seems to require.

          Reference:
          Revolvry.com
          “The LSM(R) was featured in Life Magazine of April 16, 1945 with a centerfold picture and the caption. “Each of these tiny ships had amazing firepower, greater at short range than the combined firepower of two mammoth Iowa class battleships”.
          All ships of the class carried a single 5 in (130 mm) gun in a turret at the rear of the ship.
          Two 40 mm Bofors guns were carried; a single mount at the bow and another amidships in front of the bridge.
          In addition, three Oerlikon 20 mm cannon were carried in single mounts.
          The main armament was the rocket launchers. No. 188 to 195 had 75
          four-rail Mark 36 rocket launchers and a further 30 six-rail Mark 30 Rocket Launchers, the latter were removed in early April 1945. The others had 85 Mark 51 automatic rocket launchers.”
          Fits like A Glove
          http://www.combatreform.org/Image576.jpg

          *Taylor Advisory Directive

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            They don’t have an LSM – that’s only in the fanfic Steve White wrote. And she certainly would not have more firepower than one Iowa, let alone two.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Each of these tiny ships had amazing firepower, greater at short range than the combined firepower of two mammoth Iowa class battleships”.//
            Per salvo – yes, but the accuracy was poor. Unguided rockers are generally the weapon of hitting the area target with a large volume of fire. Marines used rocket salvoes to strike the enemy immediately before advance – when main artillery barrage already stopped – so the enemy would be covering and hiding in exactly the few minutes when tanks and infantru, advancing on his positions, are most vunerable.

          3. By donald j johnson on

            It was the massive unguided rocket power that decimated the Germans during WWII. Do not ever underestimate the quantity over quality option. Especially in firepower. Yes it did help that we also massively overproduced the Germans as well but until mid 1942 when we started getting our production lines running, the British were having problems keeping up.

          4. By Charles Simpson on

            The Grik are making lots of anti aircraft rockets should they add a contact fuse and fire at an angle they would have something similar to the Russian Katushka, an area weapon. Hmm instead of the Stalin Organ the Esshk Organ? Bozja Moi! (My God! in Russian.)

          5. By Lou Schirmer on

            Joe that could go either way. The Griks are the primary users & builders of rockets so far. If anyone is going to have an LSM(R) or LCT(R) it’ll probably be the Grik. If a cruiser or BB sized Grik ship was converted that way, it would be bad news for the Union attack up river. They may just use it for AAA, but if some bright, desperate Hij thinks, hmmm, what if?

          6. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Charles, I think the initial Grik AA rockets had contact fuses, and the time fuses were a later improvement, so they could just switch back to the old one.

          7. By Paul Nunes on

            combatreform.org

            Stopped reading right there.

            Sparky and his cookbook of stupid ideas does not deserve to be spread to others.

            He is the M113 fan boy that makes everyone cringe.

        3. By Paul Smith on

          depending on how wide the river is, couldn’t they back the Santa Catalina back against one side of the river and let the current spin her across the river then scuttle her? or partially flood her and do that giving her a gap between shores to make boarding harder. Use her then as an armored platform to engage and sink grik BB’s & cruisers? Standing off shore she, with sufficient machine guns & mortars, should be able to fight off a very determined assault.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            The Zambesi is a big river. Assuming it isn’t shallower, narrower or running faster due to the ice age, They’re going to have to get Santy Cat a good ways upriver for her to be able to provide any kind of channel blocking.

        4. By Paul Nunes on

          Muriname escaped to a mainland airfield.

          What isn’t stated is what facilities and material were located there.

          Reply
    5. By Paul Nunes on

      With the current of the river on their side. The Grik only need to release sea mines and fire ships as ground forces pound the blockade for both shores to the sides and rear.

      Meanwhile, the Grik pick up their biremes and walk around the blockade.

      Reply
  18. By Steve Moore on

    THought about ordering ROB, after brother in law asked me AGAIN when next book coming out. Which made me think about the here and now in Taylor Time.

    First off, have to kill the Grik Empire. Grik galleys won’t have any AAA other than muskets (unless Muriname has given them MG’s) so anything from an Nancy on up can rip them up. Fire bombs. Air dropped depth charges in the river. Send the Grik battleships up the river until they ground (out of the channel), using up expendable assets first.

    Meanwhile, the Air Corps is harassing their troops on land, by night with Buzzards tossing out incendiaries and mortar bombs just to keep them rattled. Sort of like Louie the Louse of WW2 fame, ar Alexey’s Night Witches. Good chance for RRP pilots to get some combat airtime in multi-engine ships, so they can start flying CAP out of west coast airfields.

    And strip the Savoie of a few examples of everything, then give her to the RRP’s, as I’ve mentioned before. The Alliance needs quantity, not quality, to both cover more area and train more allied naval crew. And it’s a lot easier to spin up a shipyard to build Walkers, coastal TB’s or super-Walkers (beamier, 5.5 guns, launch P1Fs (covered cockpits, float scout/fighters))

    The LOT needs legs and naval air to turn the Cape of Good Hope. They don’t have it now. We won’t see them for a while yet. I’d be more worried about the people THEY’RE worried about.. and it sure ain’t the Doms or Nussies.

    Last, but not least… Lett’s psychological warfare needs to come back. Leaflet drops over Sofesheesk aimed at the Hij, loudspeakers in the front lines saying lie down, you will not be harmed, you will be fed, do not obey your leaders… these guys are just one step past being drones, and it’s worked before.

    Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      Oh yeah; get rid of the Cantets and give the RRP P1’s. Otherwise you’re just going through the Brewster Buffalo thing again. Need to get these guys jumped up to speed, just like Amerika did 30 years previously.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        “But then how do we shoot from the back?”

        Let’s hope the Republic’s “old guard” don’t insist that Mallory come up with a turret Fleashooter.

        Reply
          1. By Justin on

            Or the Blackburn Roc; even a Skua’s a bad idea, since there’s all that extra weight/space for the rear MG and gunner that you really don’t want in a dedicated dogfighter. If they want a fighter-bomber, then maybe.

        1. By Steve Moore on

          I think Mallory can pretty much do whatever he wants

          Reply
    2. By Paul Nunes on

      You are going to lose a lot of planes and pilots to night attacks over unfamiliar terrain.

      For little effect. The troops on the ground are better hidden and judging distance a lot harder in darkness. Too many crashes on bomb runs or trying to land on return.

      Reply
  19. By Justin on

    Thought experiment: we figured on the old board that the Union isn’t making their own Type 96s because they can’t do proximity fuses yet. But you really only need those against aircraft; air-to-ground or anti-tank shells would really only need contact fuses.

    Basically, could Baalkpan R&D come up with a homemade autocannon? Something like a 30mm Oerlikon (once they have a plane that could lift it) would be pretty nasty in a dogfight or strafing run. Or they could put it in an AFV and just shred League defences and light armour.

    Reply
    1. By William Curry on

      Proximity fuses are very useful for ground combat. Eliminated the problem with guessing how long to set the fuse to get an air burst. The US Army refrained from using VT fuses over land for fear that the Germans would copy it, until the Battle of the Bulge. With their backs against the wall VY fuses were released for use by the field artillery, which promptly used them against the Germans with great effect. Proximity fuses were also instrumental in Korea for repelling Chinese human wave attacks.

      Reply
      1. By William Curry on

        VT not VY. VT was the code designation for proximity fuses.

        Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Proximity fuzes for shells are out of question for Destroyermen’s. Hovewer… I have some ideas about doable proximity fuzes for bombs and rockets…

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            That’s not a bad idea Alexey. Bomb releases & rocket launches are far less stressful on the fuse mechanism than gun or mortar fire. They could also be the basis for future, more robust cannon fuses.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            Well, I toyed with several solution, and seems that it is possible to make anti-aircraft rocket (ground-launched or air-launched) with the infrared proximity fuze on the avaliable to Union technology. The bolometers are known from late XIX century, and they could be build sensitive enough to react on the heat of aircraft engine. Of course, unguided rockets aren’t exactly the best thing in AA warfare, but with proximity fuzes they might just work well enough against 1930s aircrafts of the League.

          4. By Steve Moore on

            what about the heat of steam engines?

      2. By Steve Moore on

        The ‘Black Cat’ raiders used extensions on the nose fuses of bombs when raiding Jap airfields, to have the bomb detonate a foot or so above ground. They also bundled recycled rebar around the bombs as makeshift shrapnel

        Reply
      3. By Paul Nunes on

        VT (variable time) is the standard artillery fuse.

        The shell explodes at a set height above the ground and maximizes the shrapnel effect. An impaxt fuse wastes most of this into the soil, unless your axtually trying to get to troops dug into barrage bunkers.

        The VT doesn’t tear up the ground though trees and other softish things are shredded by the metal splinters. This lets your own troops pass quickly through this terrain when a gap in the enemy defense is made. Otherwise, troops would have to slog through the uneven terrain of shell craters.

        Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Don’t they have some Hotchkiss guns on Savoie? Something like a twin-engine attack plane with armament like a P-38 wuld do a number on enemies

      Reply
      1. By Generalstarwars333 on

        So they do have hotchkiss guns on Savoie, but they also are making .50 cal’s which are better. The hotchkisses are fine to use in place of the .50’s so long as they have the ammo, but they shouldn’t be viewed as a permanent solution or a replacement for the .50’s.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          For a long term basis, I agree. Standardizing on the .30-06 and .50 M2 round seems to make the most sense, from both an aircraft and infantry point of view. Put the .30’s on the more agile P1, save the heavier .50s for twin-engine attack birds to give them a little more stand-off capability. I suggested the Hotchkiss guns more as a ‘forward-base’ idea, if they had any of Muriname’s ships. Ditto for infantry, although they’re going to have to work on some kind of fire control & sighting if they’re going to have an AAA function; at least so far the Grik don’t have air support from Muriname. But they might (which is why I think the Cantets should go to training use and upgrade the RRP to P-1s). Ship P-1’s to the RRP, take back Cantets for Union trainers.

          The RRP has the capability of making bolt-action rifles; give them an ’03 to work from and see if they can start making copies. I’d skip the Krag and focus on the Springfield. Since the Mi-Annaka have such good eyesight, maybe start making some sniper rifles; since the Grik are so new to formation fighting, the more capability you have to reach out and ‘touch’ the officer cadre, the better. For an extended land campaign (years, not weeks) maybe making a version of the Arisaka and it’s 6.5mm cartridge might make the RRP groundpounder’s job easier (more rounds per pound); just curious, are RRP Mi-Annaka lacking the upper-body strength of Home-bred Mi-Annaaka?

          Reply
          1. By Paul Nunes on

            Why would you give the Republic the M1903 Springfield when they already have the K98 Mauser?

            They have chosen to go with a larger bore single shot G88 for their own reasons. They have the K98 in 7.92mm.

            The Springfield M1903 is a fair copy of the M1898 Mauser. So much so that Springfield was successfully sued by Mauser for copyright infringements. the Gewehr 1898 was shortened and became the Karabiner 1898 and standard for the German Army in WW1 and WW2.

          2. By Paul Nunes on

            The Arisaka is another K98 mauser clone. It’s a good rifle, but the Republic has the original.

            Yes, ignore the Krag and it’s complex rotary magazine.

          3. By Taylor Anderson on

            I agree, Paul, though I consider the ‘03 Springfield the PERFECTION of the K98, not a mere”fair copy”. 😬 I also agree, much as I love Krags, there’s little point in making those if you already have an ‘03 to copy. Far more complicated if nothing else. There’s a great deal to be said for the .30 US (.30-40) with its 220 grn bullet and mild recoil—but you can shoot heavy bullets out of .30-06 too. Then again, a ‘95 Winchester (musket) with stripper clip guides would be tough to beat for a non auto-loading military arm. And they could do those in a variety of calibers from .30US to some real whoppers. Not saying there IS a ‘95 to copy, but it would be cool. You can stay on target way better with a lever than a bolt.

          4. By donald j johnson on

            Just wondering Taylor, how accurate is the 03 and its maximum range on flip site. And is range actually set properly. I had one you should in boot camp but you never get a shoot it. And even that was 54 years ago. So just wondering

          5. By Charles Simpson on

            Bolt Action is better in prone shooting, and since rush and flop advances use prone shooting more than stand up shooting the bolt action rifle is probably best. Automatics would be best but without another transfer bringing examples or a inventive Union citizen I doubt we see them.

          6. By Justin on

            Perhaps Baalkpan Arsenal will build the M1945 Springfield to accept detachable mags? No reason why the Union & Republic should be wedded to five-round clips.

            If possible, a straight-pull bolt would also let them reload without taking their eyes off the target. Look up the “mad minute” and you’ll see what I mean.

          7. By William Curry on

            Beyond about 1000 yards the M1905 sight on the M1903 was for volley fire at area targets by squad or platoon. This was indirect fire. A nearby marker, like a rock or tree was selected. The sights were then set for the estimated range of the area target and the windage set for the off set horizontally. The by was by volley by squad or platoon under the direction of an officer or nco. The actual procedure to figure out how to set the range involved turning the rifle upside down. They also used something called a musketry rule held 20 inches from the eye to see how many mills the target subtended to estimate the range. This sort of indirect fire was supplanted by machine guns and mortars beginning in the Great War.
            Straight pull bolt actions were never very successful in actual combat. The straight pull action lacks the powerful primary extraction that comes from lifting the bolt by hand instead of a cam. This made the action susceptible to jamming with dirty or poor ammo. The Ross straight pull was withdrawn from use early in the Great War because it couldn’t handle the mud and dirt in the trenches.
            There were experimental version of both the M1903 and the G98 that used enlarged box magazines. They were never produced in significant quantity. It’s actually very quick to reload a bolt gun with clips, having used an ’03 during the rapid fire stage of the national match course.

          8. By Paul Nunes on

            Taylor,What was the Czech legion carrying when they made the transfer?
            One of them might well have a 95 Winchester made for the Xzar’s Imperial army.

            The Mauser/M1903 has that strong action with three hardened lugs and the ruptured case gas bypass. I don’t see a reason why some limited quantities of 250 grain lead round nose isn’t making it forward to Troops. Dinosaur loads.

            There is room in the story for a menagerie of weapons to have xome from the holds of the SS Amerika, Maru, and the Czech legion. Battlefield pickups, arms for colonial troops, and private purchase arms.

            Still waiting for the M1897 trench gun and C96 Mauser! :)

            Right now firepower is about parity. There isn’t a drive for magazine loaded bolt actions. Though that is very helpful for marksmen with scoped rifles. Loading from stripper clips is fast and saves weight for the rifleman to carry more.

            So far scoped rifles and Japanese MG scopes haven’t made it
            to production. Rifle grenades launxhed by blanks either.

            Taylor, why not a transition to falling block arms? The Remington High wall or Martini Henry? Transition from ball and powder to cartridge and just as fast to make as Springfield trap doors. Then the supply would be focused on one ammo. 30.06.

          9. By Taylor Anderson on

            It’s been established that Svec–at least–had a Moisen-Nagant, but it isn’t impossible there might’ve been a ’95 musket or two among his men. Then again, there were a “variety” of small arms in Santy Cat’s arms locker. Her crew apparently only ran off in the wilds of Java with Thompson’s

          10. By Steve Moore on

            I ran a rifle range in college, using .22’s from the Civilian Marksmanship program to teach middle school kids (boys and girls). Honking big things, weighed almost as much as my ’03 but the kids loved them. Best way to teach kids, shooting prone with single shots.

            Whatever they use, need at least something with good stand-off range. The Grik still breed faster than the Union, and paired with getting smarter, poses a problem for our heroes & heroines.

      2. By Justin on

        Good thinking, but Savoie‘s Hotchkiss guns are 13.2mm (.52 cal) MGs, not autocannons. Like general said, the homegrown M2 Brownings make them redundant.

        Reply
      3. By Paul Smith on

        Would recommend 4 or 5 .30’s. Lighter weight, carry more ammo. Just about as effective as the larger calibers against un/lightly armored ground-pounders. also wouldn’t need as heavy a support structure in the aircraft.

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          Yeah, but then you can’t use it on tanks or something. IDK. I just feel like 25’s or .50’s would be more useful since they could engage more targets or something. It’s sort of a gut feeling.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            With the latest increase in engine power, they’re getting so they could get a decent, strong plywood & doped fabric twin up with say Pauls’ 4 .30 cals & a centerline 25mm. Have a two stage trigger so the 25mm only fires on a strong squeeze after seeing where the .30 cal rounds are hitting. A rear gunner cat could be in a position to change magazines on the 25mm during pauses in the action. Something like that would also be able to carry a good bomb load.

          2. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Do the .30’s have the same trajectory as the 25mm though? The whole system of seeing where the .30’s are hitting won’t be worth anything if they don’t match up with the 25.

          3. By William Curry on

            Most aircraft guns were capable of being adjusted so that their fire converged at a specified range. This was called harmonizing the guns. Most likely any aircraft would have this capability. Most pilots had their own ideas about what the harmonizing range should be.

          4. By Steve Moore on

            Before they’re shooting tank, they’re going to be shooting wooden vessels. Combination of .30’s and a 25mm sounds good to me, especially if you can build some incendiary rounds or tracers (due to the small bursting charge capacity, make fire the weapon load). Didn’t German fighter pilots set the harmonization close to force their pilots to close in?

          5. By Justin on

            Hmm, do the M&Ms come with armour and self-sealing tanks? If not, .30s and a 25mm might very well be enough for dogfights and intercepts as well.

          6. By Generalstarwars333 on

            I think that, self-sealing tanks or not, a M-M would trash a two engined plane in a dogfight. A heavy armament won’t make you invincible. Just look at the BF-110.

          7. By Justin on

            It depends on what kind of heavy fighter we’re talking about. The Potez 63 family (and potentially the Focke-Wulf 187), for example, seem to have had decent turn/roll capability compared to light fighters.

          8. By Lou Schirmer on

            //I think that, self-sealing tanks or not, a M-M would trash a two engined plane in a dogfight. A heavy armament won’t make you invincible. Just look at the BF-110.//

            Slower but more maneuverable bi-planes often had decent WW2 combat records against, faster, more modern types, if used correctly. The Finns against the Russians, the Italians attacking Malta etc. Training to use your ship’s advantages & avoid the enemies is key though. A faster plane can engage & disengage at will & usually have a higher sustained rate of climb & can dive away, but in a sustained turning fight, slower fighters have often given technically superior opponents bloody noses.

    3. By Generalstarwars333 on

      If they’re gonna use the 25’s against armor, I’d say ditch the contact fuse and explosives altogether and just go for a solid round. It’ll be more likely to penetrate, and at 25mm’s across the explosive load is unlikely to make up for the lack of penetration, or be big enough to justify using it on infantry. You’d need to get almost a direct hit for it to work on infantry anyway, and if you’re that close to them you might as well hit the infantry directly.

      Reply
      1. By Generalstarwars333 on

        Look at similarly sized guns used against armor. The french 25mm anti-tank gun only had armor piercing rounds since the shells weren’t big enough for a usable high explosive payload. The 20mm cannon on the Panzer 2 was only given armor piercing ammo since it couldn’t carry a good explosive payload. The only 20-25mm ammunition getting explosive payloads is the stuff for use against aircraft–something without the armor to deflect bits of shrapnel or protect against the blast-wave.

        Reply
      2. By Justin on

        Again, I don’t necessarily mean a copied ’96; if it’s possible to increase the caliber without wrecking the ballistics (or to just design a brand new gun), that would work just fine.

        Note that Flakvierlings were often used as improvised MGs. And many prewar tanks had pretty thin armour; the Polish wz.38 (20mm), for example, was capable of disabling any German tank short of a Panzer IV, to say nothing of trucks, cars and halftracks.
        Of course, if a B1 shows up, it’s time to bug out and call artillery…

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          I agree they’d be great. I just wanted to say that the explosive payload isn’t really necessary to use it against ground targets.

          Reply
    4. By Owain Alexander on

      I’m no expert like many on this site, but it sounds like something along the lines of a P-39 Airacobra might work. The 37 mm autocannon in the nose was good for ground attack after all. While I’ve heard they weren’t used as tank busters, they would at least be a good start if we’re talking close air support.

      Reply
      1. By Generalstarwars333 on

        I think we’ve actually discussed the idea of an aircraft with a 25mm or four in the nose as a ground attack aircraft/heavy fighter here before. I personally like the idea, I don’t remember about the others though.

        Reply
      2. By Alexey Shiro on

        Airacobra’s were well-liked by our Soviet pilots on Eastern Front. They were quite efficient on low and medium altitudes, where they have maneuvering superiority, plus they have powerful weaponry – all well-suited into USSR air combat doctrine, which favoured maneuver on low altitudes and high-powerful weapon bursts.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Think they’re going to need a twin-engine plane like Lou’s or Muriname’s torpedo bomber. They can’t build anything that they could put Allisons on. But they’d make GREAT MTB engines.

          Twin engines, like a ME110, or Hs 129(which had underpowered engines) I don’t think they could build the wings strong enough to handle the recoil from a 25mmm. I’ll defer to Lou on that aeronautical examination. Alexey’s idea of P39’s would require some pretty complex engineering, but then, Soviet pilots did pretty well with any kind of castoffs.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Steve, why put the guns in the wings when you can put’em in the nose? You don’t have to worry about making the wings strong enough for the recoil that way.

          2. By Justin on

            Stukas were able to carry 37mms in wing pods, but yes, autocannons are usually mounted in the nose or fuselage.

            Fair point otherwise. The Union’s unlikely to develop a single powerful engine that can lift a cannon – they’ll have to use two.
            They’ve got the BMW radials from the League’s Junkers, and those are around 600-700hp… something like the Fw 187 or Breguet 693 might be on the table.

          3. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Yes please. I love the concept of a twin engine plane coming in and strafing the bad guys with 25’s. Be hell on light armor, infantry, the decks of the grik cruisers and carriers, any plane that gets in the way… Would it be impractical to mount one on a fleashooter? Like, take the MG’s out and all that and sling one under the fuselage in a gunpod? Or carry one on a nancy in a gunpod instead of bombs? I’d suggest a P-40, but they’ve already got the .50’s, and they’re probably too valuable to use for simple ground attack anyway.

          4. By Justin on

            I dunno, the Nancys and Buzzards are slow enough as-is (90 mph or less? MnM food). A “PA-1B” would probably be limited to Warthog-type runs, where the Union already has air superiority and they’re just mopping up.

          5. By donald johnson on

            Yes the league has the engines but do they have the ability to duplicate them. This is the most important item, have but can’t duplicate means that soon you don’t have any left to duplicate in the future when you will need them. that is the problem with using the P-40’s

    5. By Matt on

      Something with such a low RoF wouldn’t be too useful in a fighter. In other purposes it would be fantastic though. A light tank or armored car with one as a main gun would shred infantry and light defenses. Would also be a good weapon for ground attack role. Wouldn’t have the Brrrrrrrrrrt! of a Warthog but would be the next best thing.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Now that you mention it, the Type 96’s rate of fire is indeed much slower than its Western counterparts.

        Perhaps two 25mms would be enough for bomber intercept? Or would air-to-air require Baalkpan Arsenal to design a completely brand new cannon?

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          IMO 50BMGs should be sufficient against the late 30’s bombers the League will have. A large volume of fire from the smaller, faster guns will improve hit probabilities over a slow large caliber gun and 50 is big enough to pack a useful incendiary or explosive payload.

          Reply
      2. By Paul Nunes on

        The IJA (might be the IJN SNLF?) used the type 96 on a two wheeled xarriage as a light AT gun and infantry support gun.

        Reply
  20. By Charles Simpson on

    Could the Grik hoist their lizzarded (manned ain’t right) flying bombs up on rockets to increase the power of their air forces?

    Reply
    1. By Generalstarwars333 on

      Maybe? I’m a bit concerned about the G-forces the grik would endure, and the probability that they’d reach their apoapsis nowhere near their targets.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        IIRC smaller Grik rockets use off center exhaust ducting to spin the rocket to make it’s flight path straighter, similar to the Cosgrave rocket, Hmm, probably not wise for the Grik pilots. With the low ammunition for the Japanese aircraft some form of effective Grik air bombs are needed.

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          my god. Mount some of those grik AA rockets on a plane and launch them into an infantry formation…jesus. Even with the contact fuse, that’s still a lot of lead in the air. Heck, just get enough of their AA rockets in general, maybe with reduced propellant so they hit the ground before the fuse runs out, and launch them at an allied troop concentration and it’s bound to wreak some havoc.

          Reply
        2. By Charles Simpson on

          General the Japanese/Grik aircraft are doped fabric over a frame rocket exhaust might be a tad dangerous for them to use.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Build some Tiny Tims or HVAR for the remaining P-40’s. Glad there’s another rocketeer out there (as Taylor groans, not ROCKETS again!)
            Build some of those tube contraptions they hang off attach helicopters.
            Fast planes plus fast rockets leave little reaction time for targets.

          2. By Paul Smith on

            how about thin sheet steel from leading edge to trailing edge, about 1 foot either side of launch rails. 24 or 28 gauge shouldn’t weigh that much.

          3. By Justin on

            I imagine they’d have to replace them pretty often, if it works… unless jet fuel can’t melt steel sheets?

    2. By Steve Moore on

      What, like a Natter? Need a pretty good push and more than 60 seconds of flight time

      Reply
    3. By Justin on

      If the Grik ever get a powerful-enough rocket to lift ordnance, they might as well use the rocket as the ordnance and cut out the middleman (or endman, not sure which).

      Reply
    4. By Alexey Shiro on

      It would require a lot of engineering & much better industrial base to build the rocket of required size. It is not just up-scaling the rocket. Large solid-fueled rockets are… tricky; they required precise calculation of solid fuel block & channels, and precise manufacturing of both fuel and engine (that’s why until 1950s most large rockets and missiles were liquid-fueled).

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Wonder if they could use a watered down version of Lett’s Patented Gasket Compound as a binder to extrude solid propellant sticks

        Reply
  21. By Joe Thorsky on

    Steve-Guys

    An as yet unanswered question about the
    LOT and the NUS. Do either of these entities
    have acquired (How? Methods used?)or do currently
    possess an at sea oil or coal refueling capability?
    Has military force projection expanded to areas not
    directly tethered to land oil-coal logistics-supplies.
    Does ROB answer?

    Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      Well, it appears that the Nussies stay pretty close to home, plus they’ve got a fully functional set of sails and what appears to be a few outlying bases at which to store fuel. It’s possible that they could pump fuel from one ship to another by using steam-powered pumps, but probably only in sheltered waters since rigging might be difficult at sea.

      Doms have only coal, and sail-only transports, so guess they use steam only in combat. Coal can really only be transferred in harbor. No indications yet they have any petroleum industry. Ease of transfer is why Churchill pushed to switch the RN to oil during the First World War, and away from coaling stations.

      Reply
    2. By Justin on

      Oil refuelling for light ships has been a thing since WWI, but Rear Admiral King only figured out how to do it for capital ships in 1940.

      Reply
      1. By Joe Thorsky on

        Justin-Steve

        The navies of almost all the known combatants are
        composed of a mixed hodge podge of technologies
        from many different eras and timelines. This makes
        for serious logistical complications with the NUS
        especially acting as a Neutral Power similar to
        Cherbourg US Civil War or like Valparaiso WW-II.
        The LOT has almost all the same operational problems as NUS.
        They are also working under the constraints and are of
        necessity confined to be near friendly sources of shore based
        supply and logistics.

        Reference:
        International Journal of Naval History
        http://www.ijnhonline.org/2010/12/01/when-dreams-confront-reality-replenishment-at-sea-in-the-era-of-coal/
        AKA The Lidgerwood-Miller system
        Is this the Ameri-Clan Gone Clone ROB?

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Except that the League burns oil. No reason they can’t refuel their destroyers or subs while out to sea; the Kriegsmarine even created specialized “tanker” U-Boats for that exact purpose.

          Reply
          1. By Joe Thorsky on

            Justin

            You would be so right if the LOT had only a static Navy-Air Force.
            But the LOT have Imperically expanded and have acquired
            various types of other military assets? from a variety of sources.
            Some of which should not or cannot be converted to burning oil.
            A Merger and Acquisition mess!!

  22. By Generalstarwars333 on

    I’ve got a sort of weird question for Mr. Anderson: Do the Union Mountain Howitzers unveiled in I believe Devil’s Due have sub-caliber chambers like real mountain howitzers, or are they just shortened versions of the Union’s 12 pounder “Napoleons”?

    Reply
    1. By Generalstarwars333 on

      Oh, and for the Nussie’s rifled cannons, are we talking rifled Dahlgren guns or parrot guns or what? I imagine it’d have to be something a lot like a Dahlgren since they’d have probably figured out over the century they’d been here that parrot guns have zero endurance when scaled up.

      Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          In my head, I always call them “Noo-sees,” and Impies are “I’m-pees.” I haven’t caught up with Bill Dufris’ great audios, so I don’t know how he pronounces them.

          Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        To be exact, Dahlgren guns weren’t good rifles either. None of Dahlgren large-calibre rifles worked particulary well. Simply speaking – rifling and cast-iron mix pretty bad; cast-iron is far too brittle. You could make outer body of the gun from cast-iron to limit the cost, but the inner liner must be steel.

        Reply
        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          Very true. Parrots were an attempt to solve this problem by shrinking a wrought iron ring around the breech. Somewhat effective for field guns, not too hot for anything much bigger than a 30pdr. As you might imagine, since I love 3″ Ordnance Rifles so much, the design philosophy of the Nussie’s big guns might’ve been the result of . . . parallel evolution, or maybe another post arrival influence. So. Wrought iron guns with steel liners. Can’t call them Dahlgrens, certainly not Columbiads. Might have to come up with something new, IF it ever comes up . . . Hmm. Maybe just “Naval Ordnance Rifles?”

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            If they’re going steel, that’d open up the possibility of whitworth’s, but then again they aren’t mentioned and it’s a British gun anyway so it’s unlikely they’d know of it. Not to mention it’s after their time. And I think naval ordnance rifles works about as well as anything.

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            General steel combines combinations of toughness (resistance to wear controlled by heat treatment) and malleability (ease of shaping by casting or forging prior to heat treating.) Thus you can cast a cannon’s outside shell with trunions with toughness non brittle casting while the trunions can be heat treated for wear resistance, and lined with a hard liner that can take the punishment of firing the gun and spinning the shell for a long time. When I was about 6 I toured the Gun plant in my home town and saw them work on 16″ naval rifles. They had a pit to heat the outside casting and had a pipe spraying the liner with water to loosen it to change liners the steam and sound was awesome!

          3. By Charles Simpson on

            WOW I did not know that but according to Wikipedia parts of the second atomic bomb (the gun tube version called Little Boy) were made IE: “Components were produced by the Naval Ordnance Plants in Pocatello, Idaho,”

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Might have to come up with something new, IF it ever comes up . . . Hmm. Maybe just “Naval Ordnance Rifles?”//

            Well, as long as Salvador Diaz Ordonez isn’t around…

    2. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

      They do have sub caliber chambers. I used to have a pair of them (one full bore with chambered breech I built a 2nd Model prairie carriage and limber for, and one with a 6pdr bore on a pack carriage. The full 12pdr was a joy to play with and we did a number of take ’em apart and put ’em back together and shoot ’em obstacle courses. What a blast. It was only fit for canister though. We fired solid shot in the sub caliber gun, but it obviously couldn’t compete with a (full size) 6pdr. Finally sold them. You actually CAN have too many cannons because they take up a lot of space. I must admit I miss the full bore mtn howitzer. It would be such a hoot to chase feral hogs with, and three guys can run around with it with little effort.

      Reply
  23. By David B on

    I was doing a bit of reading on torpedoes, and something jumped out at me: Wickes-class and Clemson-class DDs kept using Mk. 8 torpedoes after the MK 15 came out (Mk 14 being the sub-launched version of the MK 15). Was the fact that Walker carried MK 14’s over to the other world artistic license on the part of Mr. Anderson, or is there something I am missing?

    Reply
  24. By Joe Thorsky on

    For all you future Logistics and Tech savvy Scudrunner candidates and Groundpounder don’t wannabes. Here’s a timely exercise to test your wits,
    to fine tune the depth of your knowledge, and to sharply hone your adaptive
    and innovative skills needed in preparation for that next Great Technological Leap Forward that’s most likely to occur next in Mr. Anderson’s ever evolving and changing Destroyermen’s storyline.

    Instructions
    View the Utube video link on the Fairchild XC-120 Packplane
    Read attached reference article
    Cargo Carrier Concept: Design-logic for Airborne Logistics:
    The Fairchild XC-120 Pack-plane”.
    By Stanley H. Evans
    Assume also there being an amphibian and carrier based versions
    of this aircraft eventually being produced.
    Kindly describe and make predictions.

    http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Fairchild_XC-120_Packplane#

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Thanks for the pointer on that Joe. It was a pretty cool concept even if it didn’t get past the prototype stage. There were an amazing number of oddball concepts being produced in those days.
      Here’s another one, developed from the experimental Vought V-173 in the 1930s.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_XF5U

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Would think you’d have to trim the pods very carefully and avoid any shifting in flight. Better to have parachute extraction of cargo pallets at 5 feet using floor rollers?

        Reply
        1. By Joe Thorsky on

          Everyone-Lou/Steve:
          Those BRAINIACS working overtime at the Skunk Works
          or at DARPA must now be in Aviation Nirvana salivating
          at the very prospect of marrying and conjoining that quaint
          and obsolete 1930’s Vought XF5U Aircraft with all of tomorrow’s
          cutting edge, state of the art and very futuristic 21st century Aviation technology. Even with both modernization and the newest
          of technology improvements however, it’s just not that needed Technological Leap Frog that can be the game changer of everything, everywhere, anywhen.
          Coming out of Historical left field and needed right now, is that force, capacity and capability multiplier and answer that can only
          be provided by something along the same research, development and deployment lines as that of the Fairchild XC-120 Packplane.

          FYI-FAB & Attaboys, Lou/Steve. You’re definitely well on the way to graduation and of also of advancing into being defacto
          “CA$H McCALLS!” and consulting Scudrunners extraordinaire.

          Another “NUSanced” Utube video that reinforces this argument
          and is also somewhat persuasive.

          Thunderbirds Launches and Landings HD

          Reply
        2. By Justin on

          Given the Union’s present and future tech level, I’d say the Union would settle for just being able to reverse-engineer their new Ju-57. Some kind of transport like a Super Electra would be pretty valuable.

          Reply
          1. By Paul Smith on

            the hardest thing will be refining aluminum. They get that, plus being able to recreate the alloys used for the aircraft they know, then they’ll be taking off! aluminum crankcases & lightweight pistons for the radials, that should help the power to weight ratio’s!

  25. By Justin on

    Would giving the Fleashooters a third propeller blade increase speed, or would the Union need a better engine for that? Shouldn’t be a problem for syncing the MGs, since they’re mounted in the fairings.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Probably, there are plenty of modern planes using three or more blades on 200-400 HP engines, enabling the props to use more of the engines available HP. It would not be a large speed increase, due to being fixed pitch, but the takeoff & climb performance would improve noticeably. They could also go with bigger blades that might do the same thing. By bigger, I mean wider, more like the paddle blades on P-47s helped them at altitude & using all that HP at all altitudes. If you make them longer, you get too high tip speeds (transonic) & start to lose power to the noise & vibration the tips generate.
      The problem with the P-1 is it’s approaching (or at) the airspeed limits of a very draggy airframe. With an enclosed cockpit & variable pitch propeller, it could go faster, but they’d have to beef up the plane to do so safely. They’d probably have to use some sort of stronger skin than doped fabric. Some have suggested plywood like the Mosquito. This would give the airframe much more structural support & the leading edges of the wings & tail would be able to handle the pressures of high speed flight. It would also tend to make the plane heavier, which tends to make it slower, so its a bit of a balancing act.

      Reply
  26. By Lou Schirmer on

    Here’s an argument for building lots of DDs. In a night action, five British DDs take on an IJN heavy cruiser (Haguro) & another DD and sink her with multiple torpedo hits & gunfire. The Brits found her at night with their radar, but I can’t find out whether Haguro had radar by then or not. That late in the war, a heavy cruiser should have had it. Granted the Japanese radar wasn’t as developed as the British or US sets, but it should still have helped her in the fight, or at least damage or sink more than one of the attackers. As it was only one British DD was damaged to any extent with only two men killed.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Malacca_Strait

    Reply
    1. By Generalstarwars333 on

      So, reading through this, I notice the British are using radar. The allies currently don’t have radar. Since the brits wouldn’t have found the IJN cruiser without radar, I doubt this plan would work for the allies.

      Reply
    2. By Justin on

      The Royal Navy was also able to employ radar to their advantage at Cape Matapan and Taranto; the Regia Marina never had any, so they were effectively blind.

      Radar’s the key to everything. Without it, the Union can’t take advantage of darkness or bad weather to plan an ambush; they’re stuck blundering around until they and the League find each other.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        While radar is a high priority, battles were successfully being fought without it up until WW2. The IJN fought several successful night actions against the USN using optics against our radar, before we learned the hard way how to use it. Scout planes can find your enemy during daylight & if you have a contested area (i.e.. The Slot at Guadal Canal), night engagements are inevitable. My main point was large ships can be effectively engaged by a larger number of smaller ones, DDs against a CA in this case. They need a number of things to do so though: 1) a weapon heavy enough to do serious damage (torpedoes), 2) enough ships to split the enemies fire, cause confusion & enable multiple angles of attack, 3) the determination to carry through in the face of heavy fire &/or casualties.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          For that matter, if your ships are moving slow enough at night & you suspect enemy ships in the area, they could probably detect other ships using passive sonar or hydrophones. Wouldn’t be good enough for directing guns, but enough to put optics sweeping the general bearing.

          Reply
          1. By donald j johnson on

            Passive sonar is very accurate as far as heading and using 2 units on different ships that you know the exact relative position of allows you to accurately range the enemy. therefore you van get real data for firing guns and torpedoes
            at knight.

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Well, the Germans tracked Allied convoys day and night, right? And during summer you have 7-8 hour nights, long enough for Clippers with extra tanks and Lemurian lookouts to drop the occasional illuminating flare. Illuminate, and ruin enemy’s night vision at same time.

            I still don’t see the LOT able to make a move for a few years yet. Let’s grease the Grik and the Doms first before they become more technically adept.

          3. By Generalstarwars333 on

            So here’s the thing. For one, the german U-Boats have sonar which allows them to find ships even if they don’t have visual contact. For another, a convoy of, say, 20 or so ships(rough guestimate of convoy size, probably way under the actual number) is a LOT easier to find and track than a single heavy cruiser.

          4. By Steve Moore on

            Passive sonar tracking of that era was good for maybe 10 miles, at best? So best used in confined waters, but communicating that detection also gives the enemy notice, unless you can communicate by blinker.

            Sans radar, the best thing the Union has going for it in night actions are Lemurian lookouts, Imperial optics, and PB-5s overhead dropping the occasional flare.

            It was noted in a previous book (#6?) that fast steel vessels left phosphorescent wakes, so suppose that would help in non-illuminated sighting. The LOT doesn’t seem to have any functional carriers (a guess based on the crude Italian and French pre-ww2 attempts) but would rely more on land-based air from colonial bases in North Africa. So all they’d have for air cover would be a couple of seaplane fighters, unless they secured an island base in the Caribbean (which I suspect is their intent) for a flight of MM109’s and patrol planes. Hopefully they dont have anything like JU 87s or Hs 129s.

            What might be a good idea for the Union is to get a squadron of MTB’s to the Eastern front, to stage out of Guyak or a similar city. They can operate at night along the coast(no Grikbirds) and could get into the Pass to torpedo the tug fleet, denying transit ability to the Doms. Support them with a Clipper or two flying out of the Enchanted Isles.

        2. By Justin on

          The Union’s got #1 and #3, all right, but #2 seems to require more shipyards than they have right now.

          Also remember that Walker needs to know where the friendly ships are, too; last time they did a night ambush, the crew ended up torping Mahan! If they’re going to try with several times as many DDs from different directions, then they’re going to need either months of practice and coordination, or radar.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Of course on #2, they’ve just started building semi-modern DDs, so it’ll take time to build a good sized force. Also, you can maintain your ships in a line & still split the enemies fire, or they’ll concentrate on one & the others can press their attacks. Even with radar, at night, the neat formations will still disintegrate almost as soon as the first shell is fired.
            As far as Mahan goes, didn’t the torpedo that got her malfunction & circle around?
            And yes, night action tactics need practice, like the IJN did prior to WW2. Even with radar, the USN suffered several tactical defeats at Guadal Canal. The Battle of Savo Island & Battle of Tassafaronga were two of the amazing examples of how night actions can go horribly wrong even with radar. Even to a navy that practiced them like the IJN, they were confusing slug fests.

          2. By Alexey Shiro on

            The general idea of pre-radar nighttime combat was to search for the enemy by optical means (from ships & planes), and after finding – illuminate with starshells & flares, and then pinpoint by searchlights for precise firing.

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            Exactly! It was possible, & done but not pretty when it happened.

          4. By Justin on

            Let’s hope Imperial glassmakers are as good as everybody says – the League’s got optics and star shells and searchlights too, after all.

          5. By Lou Schirmer on

            True. Any way you look at it, night actions are ugly affairs.

    3. By Alexey Shiro on

      By 1945, “Haguro” seems to have 13-go, 21-go and 22-go radars. 13-go was aerial early warning radar, incapable of detecting surface targets. 21-go radar on “Haguro” was of early series, unsuitable for gunnery control. Only 22-go radar could be used for gunnery control, but it was not designed for that function, and accuracy was relatively low.

      Considering the battle of Malacca Strait, we could assume that Haguro have some radar working (due to her maneuvers), but probably not gunnery control. The ship was damaged in previous combat actions; she was never fully repaired. So, it is possible that her fire control was simply out.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Thought experiment: let’s say the Union pulls off a couple of night attacks. Easy in the Caribbean, with all the islands to use as cover.

        So now the League’s on their guard at night. The Union’s got no radar, and the target/s have working fire control (and possibly more spotters). How do the protagonists stack the odds in their favour?

        Reply
        1. By Charles Simpson on

          The Union already has an edge, the Cats see better at night than either Humans or Grik. The New United States (NUS) may wish for some Cat watchers for night operations.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            They could also set up Cat Coast Watcher Teams. They would update the Union on numbers, types, locations & courses of shipping. This would let them attack targets of opportunity with overwhelming force & stay away from more powerful ones.
            Maybe have some passive sonar stations as well. Mount them on MTBs & deploy them at night & hide during the day.
            Get some radio listening stations with aerials attacked to balloons or blimps & listen into any LOT transmissions for a change.
            Any Cat psychics out there?

        2. By Alexey Shiro on

          Night attacks in pre-radar era were… tricky. Too often nighttime combat degenerated into chaos rather quickly, when both sides have little clue, who they actually firing at.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Even with radar night combat usually dissolved into chaos after the initial engagement.

          2. By Justin on

            It depends, the USN seems to have figured it by the end of the war (Surigao Strait, etc).

          3. By Lou Schirmer on

            I think a lot of the problems dealt with the early radar sets. They didn’t present what you might call a “user Friendly” display & were often unreliable. For the first few years the display was an oscilloscope (or O-scope) & the operator would be staring at a sine wave as the antenna turned & would attempt to understand what the squiggles in the sine wave meant. I’m not an expert, but I think the depth & width of the squiggle determined the range & size of the target. Also while on later scopes, you could plot the previous blips, you couldn’t on the first sets. It got progressively more difficult as the number of targets went up. Plus land masses & rain affected the returns. A ship with an island behind it might not even be noticed against the islands massive return.
            As you say, they got better later in the war, but that was with an entire nation’s scientific & engineering recourses behind the effort & a huge amount of experience using them amongst the radar techs. Our guys are going to be staring at O-scopes with low resolution radars & no experience. I’m mildly surprised they want it so bad, since when they crossed over few had knowledge of just how useful it could be.

  27. By Justin on

    Just checking – do the Union CVs have islands, or are they completely bald like the early war flattops (Langley, Argus, Shoho)?

    Reply
        1. By Charles Simpson on

          It was mentioned that Keje’s great hall was cut down for the flight deck with the island above.

          Reply
  28. By Charles Simpson on

    How many are familiar with the Author C. Clark short story “Superiority” where the side with many older style proven weapons wins the war against an opponent with few better weapons that are not so reliable? Taylor is setting up a contest between the League with lots of modern (1939) equipment they are maintaining and supplying bullets too, but are not making new modern equipment vs the Alliance rolling their own weapons only slightly less effective. Will be a hoot to see Taylor play that out if that is his plan.

    Reply
    1. By Steve Moore on

      I’m just waiting for the more general revelation of what’s going on in the Med and who’s the 800-pound gorilla they are so worried about.

      Reply
    2. By William Curry on

      I read the story many years ago and often cited it when people kept trying to cram the latest and greatest (untested and unproven) whiz-bang into a project. “perfection is the enemy of good enough” “Something useful in your hand today beats the marvel of tomorrow which may never arrive”

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Which is what helped kill Germany in WW2. All those “Wonder Weapons” That came to little, too late. Then there was the invasion of Russia stupidity. They already had enough enemies.
        One of the reasons the US military didn’t seriously pursue jets during the war. They were borderline against the current fighters in some flight envelopes (takeoff & landing) & were grossly outnumbered.
        Quantity (right now) has a quality all it’s own.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          //One of the reasons the US military didn’t seriously pursue jets during the war. They were borderline against the current fighters in some flight envelopes (takeoff & landing) & were grossly outnumbered.//

          Er… actually, US military pursued jets pretty hard. The “Airacomet” was, actually, the first jet fighter mass-produced and comissioned. It was technical mistakes (like, due to utter secrecy, the designers have absolutely no clue how exactly the jet engines looks like, and were forced to design plane in which they could fit with rather big reserve) which led to P-59 project faliure. If they were a bit better designed, they may actually see combat service as early as in 1943.

          The key was, that USA pursued technical novelties as eager as Germany. But, the US military have a lot more common sence than Germany, and they do NOT field a half-backed prototypes, like German did. That’s why, while the actual US tech level was far superior to German, USA fielded new designs slower, but in much more refined, highly-reliable & ready for mass production state.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            Yes they pursued jets aggressively, but like your second point, they wanted to field a reliable system & already had excellent weapons in production, so didn’t need to push another into the field without refining it.
            The British actually did use a jet fighter built the Gloster Meteor which did well at the end of the war.

          2. By Steve Moore on

            I wouldn’t say the US technical level was far superior to Germany, or for that part, Japan, but the US had the industry experience & capacity (and un-bombed) to back it up. If the Germans had had the US industrial capacity, we’d all be going to Strudel Stop for our morning coffee instead of Dunkin Donuts

    3. By Justin on

      Perfect is the enemy of good, but mediocre is too. Right now, the Union and Republic need to kick into high gear and reach “good enough,” lest they become the Grik to the League’s Alliance.

      Reply
    4. By Alexey Shiro on

      This didn’t always work well, you know. During the Gulf War the Iraq have quite a lot of older-style proven weapons, and actually knew how to use them. But the USA have little troubles with defeating the Iraq – because tech difference was much more than Iraq anticipated.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Speaking of which, the Gulf War (at least partially) caused the Chinese military gear-up we’re seeing now. Most of Saddam’s armour was PLA surplus; after seeing their own tanks blowing up on CNN for a few months, they decided to modernize, and fast.

        Reply
      2. By Lou Schirmer on

        While Iraq had a lot of older systems, they could have been employed better. Their main problem was being out numbered AND against a higher tech & better trained enemy. Plus they lost most of their main communication links the night the offensive started, along with having most of their AF destroyed that night & the following day. Without air superiority or at least effectively contested air space, ground units, especially in a desert environment, don’t have much of a chance. If they had out numbered us & used that advantage, we may still have won, but the cost would have been much higher. We also had a couple of older systems that did quite well (B-52s & A-10s).

        Reply
  29. By Justin on

    You know, they could probably make Gray relevant again if they replaced her six 140mms with three Amagi’s 10-inchers… assuming that a broadside wouldn’t capsize her, of course.

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      I’ve been thinking about that also, but started looking at it from a USS Boise angle. She was on the Asia Station, but was recalled so as to not risk her radar being captured, so they are familiar with at least her layout & concept.
      They could build a larger version of the Gray with five or even six twin 5.5″ mounts. Going to four Walker turbines would keep her speed up around 30 knots & she would have enough firepower to smother anything less than a battleship & the speed to escape a battleship. Most European heavy cruisers only had 8 or less 8″ guns & crap for armor. 10-12 5.5″ rapid fire guns on a cruiser with decent armor could take them on with good odds of winning. What would be problematic is if the French had a Dunkerque class ship or two. They’re rated at 30 knots also, but after 5 years in this world their machinery may be iffy & might not be able to make that.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        Been trying that one in SpringSharp. Two problems: she can’t get past 31-32 knots, and the 5.5″ is outranged by even the League’s 6″ guns. No reason that their faster CAs and CLs couldn’t just keep out of range and pound her at leisure from a distance.

        Perhaps a slightly larger cruiser with 4-5 single 10″ mounts instead?

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Best I could do was a Graf Spee type with 6 10″ guns in three twin turrets, doing 29 knots. Which since SpringSharp tends to over estimate power needs versus speed, I’d say she could probably do 30 or so. The armor would be light at 4.5″ main belt & they’d need about an extra 500 HP per turbine, but since it’ll take a few years, they should have improved boilers & turbines by then.

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            I’m guessing that you managed to get yours under 14 kT?

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Yes. Displacement: 9,203 t light; 9,715 t standard; 10,507 t normal; 11,141 t full load
            Dimensions: Length 600′ x beam 63.5’x draught 22.5′

          3. By Justin on

            But that gives a block coefficient (hull shape) of 0.429 – that’s even slimmer than Walker (0.473)! Took a while to find out that cruisers generally run between 0.47 and 0.57; Spee herself was about 0.5-0.51.

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            You’re right, so I played with her a bit & upped the Block Coefficient to .483. She’s now:
            Displacement: 9,020 t light; 9,528 t standard; 10,306 t normal; 10,928 t full load
            Dimensions: Length 590′ x beam 61’x draught 20.75′
            SpringSharp says she’ll do 28.5 knots with 54,000 HP. Looking at Graf Spee’s numbers (@ 5k tons heavier w/2k HP less, doing 28.5 knots), I think she will probably be able to do 30.

      2. By Steve Moore on

        More guns require more crews, and wasn’t there some comment about Gray being crowded already. Adding a bit more beam would slow the new cruiser down, but add room for crew and engine space. When the rest of the fleet is limited to 15-20 knots, 30 knots just makes you the obvious target.

        Can they build a 6″ gun by scaling up the 5.5″? Add some improved AP rounds? The alternative is going back to an improved DD design and getting 4 ships for 1, with 4 times the torpedo tubes and 4 times the number of Lemurian lookouts better suited to night fighting. Add a couple of Clippers to drop flares for a 4am torpedo attack, and you’d be negating 8″ gun range and heavier armor, since I suspect the LOT hasn’t yet got round to a night CAP.

        And getting back to my favorite subject (besides rockets), the LOT needs to project their power forward 3-6000+ miles to take on the Union. That means a lot of underway refueling/replenishment, which European navies weren’t really up to speed on. One of the reasons the US Navy wasn’t really keen on the RN helping them in the Pacific was their ‘short legs’, sort of the naval equivalent of stopping for a ‘brew up’ at 4pm daily. But then, steel flight decks came in handy at Okinawa…

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          In order to get two extra twin mounts on a cruiser, they’d have to give her another 50-100 feet lengthwise. At least some of that would be extra crew space.

          Alternatively, they could build a sub-class of DDs large enough to carry 5.5″s (four-stacker Fletcher?). That ought to help in a fight with Leopardo or other League escorts.

          There’s been talks of launching carrier strikes on sortying League battlegroups; hit enough auxiliaries, and they have to go home. Problem there is getting bombers that can make it through the AA screen, because the Buzzards and Clippers are flying kindling against a WWII fleet.

          Reply
    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      //You know, they could probably make Gray relevant again if they replaced her six 140mms with three Amagi’s 10-inchers… assuming that a broadside wouldn’t capsize her, of course.//

      To be short; Very Bad Idea. Basically you would have some analogue of “light battlecruisers” of Royal Navy, or “Scout Battleships” (which were designed, but, fortunately, NOT ordered) of USN. Ship with oversized guns, which are too heavy & too few to employ them for any kind of effect.

      Yes, there were small cruisers with 10-inch guns in XIX century – so-called “Elswick” protected cruisers – but they were product of their time, when distances of naval combat were very short, heavy guns were slow-firing, proper AP and HE shells did not exist. By 1900s, they were no longer build, and no major navy – British, French or Russian – adopted such ships as main cruiser units.

      Putting three 10-inch guns on unstable, fast cruiser hull would basically gave you ship that is unable to actually hit anything except on very close distances. Three gun salvo by the 1910s standards are too small to statistically achieve any significant hit probability. And placed on light cruiser hull… basically you would have the ship, that could straddle the target, but literally could not hit it.

      Reply
      1. By Justin on

        So actually worse than staying with 140mms, got it. Guess she’s getting reassigned to South America after all.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Just the ship to run the Pass, gun up all the tugs and shore batteries. Plenty of AA to counter the Grikbirds

          Reply
          1. By Matt on

            That actually sounds like a great use for it. Have it followed by those modified wooden DDs we talked about awhile ago, with the deck mounted 4″/50s and MGs and they could tear up the pass in a naval equivalent to a thunder run. Unlike the Turks at Gallipoli the Doms are unlikely to have mines and subs, just forts and muzzle loading cannons at that so things should go in the Union’s favor.

    1. By Paul Smith on

      Would the damage control office on board Savoie have a set of blueprints like these? If they did, and their still there, would it give the United Homes a hand up in designing larger ships?

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        That’s possible it is also possible the League removed them with the fire control system, or removed to some place by the Japanese. We may find out if they exist early in the next book, and if any plans etc were salvaged from Amagi, and perhaps plans to the Japanese home made aircraft, and areal torpedoes.

        Reply
        1. By Paul Smith on

          plans for their torps & planes would be good, especially the third type of plane that reportedly flew off with Muriname.

          Reply
  30. By Justin on

    Tarakaan Island’s drydock is 650′ x 100′, but any ship berthed inside is obviously going to need at least a little bit of clearance on all sides. Anybody know how to figure out the Union’s “Taramax” dimensions?

    Reply
    1. By William Curry on

      The US Iowa class were designed to be as big as possible and still fit through the locks of the Panama Canal. Compare their dimensions with those of the locks and that will get you your answer. But that doesn’t take in the lifting capacity of the floating dry dock.

      Reply
        1. By William Curry on

          You would probably want several feet clearance on each side in order to be able to access all the hull for maintenance or repairs. It would be hard to paint the hull with just 6 inches of clearance.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            You DO realize I’m a moron, right? Completely forgot about the point of a dry dock & just went for the biggest that would fit. The sound you hear is me slapping myself. 😉

          2. By William Curry on

            CPO’s get grumpy if they can’t put the crew to chipping and painting.

        2. By Justin on

          Here’s the full quote, Chapter 4: She was, essentially, an 820-foot-by-150-foot wooden hull built around a massive 100-foot-by-650-foot repair bay large enough to accommodate anything in the Allied inventory—except a fleet carrier, or seagoing Home.

          Going off drydock inspection manuals online, they’ll also need enough room to access the anchors/chains and the rudder. I’m assuming that five feet on each side isn’t going to cut it?

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            You’re right Justin & also just found another proofreading discrepancy. You reference page 79 of Chapter 4 & her specs on page 472 are different. Page 472 says she’s 800’x100′. Don’t know if Taylor has time to fix that before the paperbacks come out.

        3. By Charles Simpson on

          According to Wikipedia the Bretagne class battleships are 166 m (544 ft 7 in) long, a beam of 26.9 m (88 ft 3 in), with a draft of 9.8 m (32 ft 2 in) so Sovoie should fit in the well of Respite Island with almost six feet clearance on the sides. The centerline rudder gives at least 40 ft of clearance on each side for work on the jammed rudder.

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

          Reply
    2. By Lou Schirmer on

      The US navy’s floating dry docks were not self propelled, so it’s a bit difficult to make a comparison. The Specs section in DD lists her as 800’x100′, 15,990 tons, with twin screw triple expansion engines. They’d have to put the engines & boilers in the side walls, so that would narrow the interior dock space by (as a guess) about 25′ per side, so she could maybe accommodate a ship with up to 46′ with a 2′ clearance on each side. This gives plenty of room for cranes, winches, plates & machinery topside. Being self propelled, she’d need a bow section, which depending on the layout could reduce the interior dock space anywhere from 50′-100′. Leaving the bow section as just a bow with minimal facilities at 50′ & a stern gate about 10′ thick, would leave an interior space of 740′ long, or able to hold a 736′ long ship. So as a guesstimate, 736’x46′ with a 2′ clearance all around. Looking at a USN towed dry dock, the ARDM-1, USS Oak Ridge, was about 490’x81′ & could hold a ship up to 413’x49′. So I’d say the Tarakaan Island could probably take up to a large cruiser.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Bath Iron Works bought a surplus dry dock meant for the Iowa class to put in their Portland (ME) yard. They only brought HALF of it (it’s sectional, like a loaf of bread) and even then DDG’s were lost inside of it. HUGE freaking thing, blotted out the harbor view from my office window. Had to content myself with the view of the hot little blond in auto claims.

        Reply
  31. By Steve Moore on

    Now that they have rubber tires for airplanes, can motorcycles be far behind? Just the thing for the RRP and Austraal, not to mention narrow jungle trails and dispatch riders. We’re kind of beating the subject of ships, planes and artillery to death.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      Perhaps, but I think “we already have an ample supply of messenger boys” is a valid point here. If they run into something like the Kokoda Trail, a me-naak is likely to be just as fast, and quieter.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Just thinking of things transportable by ship or plane to far-off lands. Motorbikes might be useful in St Francis as well, if they’re not going to build weapons carriers or Power Wagons (or Alexey’s Po-2)for exploring the desert.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          In that context, I can indeed see it catching on in places like Angel City or Texas or Austraal; plenty of oil and open terrain, not much development (trains, factories, settlements), so a DIY solution is needed.

          Reply
          1. By donald j johnson on

            Don’t worry they will find a pair of guys somewhere and make their own Harley Davidson bike though the name will probably be considerably different. oh yes they will also have to invent bicycles first then get the idea to add a motor.

    2. By Jeff on

      Well now there is an interesting image.

      I ride and can’t imagine where I’d put my TAIL so it wouldn’t get caught in the spokes, chain, belt or burned on the pipes. Ouch.

      My guess it it would have to stick up like an antenna …. another interesting visual….

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        iirc it has been mentioned that aircraft seats are not tail friendly either. Keep the tail up and out of the spokes etc as you suggest, their are a possibility of a split seat to lessen the pressure on the curve of the tail and a cut out cantle on the saddle.

        Reply
      2. By Justin on

        Not to mention “Hasta la vista, baby” sounds a lot less impressive when you’re only five feet tall.

        Reply
      3. By Lou Schirmer on

        Though wearing a kilt makes it easier when visiting the heads.

        Reply
      4. By Alexey Shiro on

        On the other hands, its much easier to pull Lemurian childrens from places-where-they-are-not-supposed-to-be, than human ones…

        Reply
      5. By William Curry on

        Actually I’ve considered the tail issue for some time. Having a tail around moving machinery is asking for problems. I can also imagine what the tail would undergo crawling into a hot steam drum or a fire box full of soot from burning heavy oil. In real life wearing a kilt in a machinery space would not be allowed. No protection and the loose floppy material would get caught in all sorts of equipment, not to mention the fire hazard. Coveralls were invented for a reason. I think you could wear a coverall with oversized legs and stuff the tail down one. The other option is to create a sheath (leather or heavy cloth) to wear over the tail to protect it. In a boiler room where your burning heavy oil, the soot gets into everything. I can imagine try to get soot laden with sulfur or vanadium out of your fir. Coveralls for the cats makes a lot of sense in a boiler or machinery space. Does anybody know if the cats tails are prehensile? Perhaps a closable flap in the rear to let the tail in and out without having to remove the coveralls?

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Well, would you dress left or dress right with the tail? The female breast problem hasn’t seemed to be a problem (except for Spanky).

          Reply
          1. By William Curry on

            Depends on the cat. I’ve seen rhesus monkeys tuck their tails under them and sit on it, sort of like a dog tucking its tail between its legs. I wonder too if a cat looses his tail or injury or disease, requiring it to be amputated, will they suffer phantom limb experience?

          2. By donald johnson on

            The easiest way to handle the tail problem would be to put a cut or notch in the seat and therefore leave room for the tail. the notch would possibly be large enough for the cat to curl it around before siting or leaning on it. I suspect the choice of the cat as to whether it is on seat pad or in back rest.

          3. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Ah! The tail of the matter. Well, it’s been long established that ‘Cats like cushions, or stools. As far as saddles are concerned, Me-naak saddles, (the only long established, pre-D-men contact) Lemurian saddles described, have a relief at the back. There weren’t typical saddles on Brontosarrys, and they rarely actually rode them. It has also been established that Impie saddles are uncomfortable for ‘Cats. Airplane seats are wicker and could easily have open lower backs, or flyers could sit on cushions. Once they start sitting on parachutes, there’s a gap as well. Physiologically, ‘Cats CAN sit on their tails, just as regular cats can, though that is not their preferred or most comfortable option. Flyers wear coveralls with cutouts. They COULD snake their tail down one leg, but I imagined that they would prefer not to, considering it too restrictive. Their tails–while not prehensile–are expressive. Restriction might cause subconscious claustrophobic reactions.

          4. By William Curry on

            Nobody so far has answered the question about what the cats do with their tails around moving machinery like fans or rocking chairs. They would, I expect, prefer not to get their tails caught in a pinch point. Hands are usually where they can be seen. Tails aren’t.

          5. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            That’s certainly true, Bill, and don’t forget poor “stumpy” who lost most of his tail. Perhaps Courtney should write some more general observations about Lemurians in his book–more than I can get away with in his little excerpts. For example, if I were him I might observe that ‘Cats have a wider range of peripheral vision and their tails are almost always in view to some degree unless sticking straight up behind them. Maybe more like a 45-50 degree arc. Of course, HAVING a tail in the first place would make them more conscious of where it is most of the time and might even contribute to their overall level of situational awareness. Maybe one reason, despite her physical (size) limitations, Shirley is the best pursuit pilot in the west.

    3. By Paul Smith on

      Whats the displacement of those jap/grik dirigible engines? 2 cyl. horizontally opposed, seems like an oversized BMW/Ural motor. Rig a tranny & away you go! Put a sidecar on it & you have a very mobile mg, just like bwm or a M70!

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        Likely considerably bigger than any motorcycle engine. I’m assuming big displacement, low rpm. They may work as motors for larger vehicles though.

        Reply
      2. By Steve Moore on

        i recall a mention somewhere, look around books 6-8

        Reply
  32. By Justin on

    … Does naval artillery fall under field guns or howitzers?

    Reply
      1. By Justin on

        But the Union’s starting work on 3″/23 field pieces, so not exactly “naval.” Basically what I want to know is would the trajectory be more straight or parabolic?

        Reply
        1. By William Curry on

          In general naval artillery would be classed as guns rather than howitzers as they are generally designed for flat trajectories rather than arching trajectories. Generally the mount for guns was not designed to allow as high an elevation of the muzzle as were the mounts for howitzers. Generally guns are designed with a higher muzzle velocity than howitzers. Beginning in the Great War and after most gun mounts for land artillery were designed to allow much great elevation than previously. In the 1920’s the US designed 16″/45 and 16″/50 guns that were capable of firing in a howitzer like mode. The British 25 pounder used in WW2 was actually classes as a gun-howitzer as it could fire in both modes. In the muzzle loading era mortars were employed on “bomb vessels” generally for shore bombardment.

          Reply
          1. By William Curry on

            The answer to the 3″/23 is that it depends on the type of mount used and what elevation it can achieve. If I was designing the system I would go for split trails and have a capability for high angle fire. The ability to adjust the propellant charge would also be useful to allow the crew to vary the muzzle velocity. Most of the French Mle.1897 75mm guns in the US inventory after WW1 were modified with split trail carriages to allow high angle fire. The original box trail trail carriage for the gun did not allow that. If the allies do it right they could end up with a very flexible gun-howitzer.

          2. Taylor AndersonBy Taylor Anderson (Post author) on

            Generally true, though terminologies do get scattered around a bit and often, (rightfully or not), tend to overlap. All “modern” field howitzers are primarily intended for high trajectory indirect fire. Yet 19th century howitzer tubes were mounted on the same carriages as “guns” and the most significant differences in the tubes was that they had chambered (reduced capacity) breeches for firing lighter charges under spherical case or shell (lighter, exploding projectiles designed to be fused to detonate an instant BEFORE they actually hit the target, ideally), almost exclusively. This allowed the tubes to be lighter and shorter, with thinner wall thickness because of the reduced pressure they had to withstand, and lighter recoil they had to help tame for the sake of the carriage. There were a few “gun-howitzers,” but dedicated howitzers–while still lethal with canister at ranges they REALLY should’ve already been withdrawn from, were never intended to fire solid shot. In short, they were low velocity bomb throwers. But in an age when all field artillery relied on direct fire–IE shooting at targets the gunners could SEE–even howitzers on standard carriages could usually achieve sufficiently high trajectories to drop their shells on anything in sight. They COULDN’T drop shells behind walls or fortifications like a mortar, but combat philosophies were different then. Armies generally faced each other at close range (usually starting the “music” inside of 1,500 yds or so) in open fields away from dense population concentrations. In the case of a siege, guns were used to batter defenses, and if need be, heavy, cumbersome mortars were brought up. (I’m not going into light “portable” mortars like Cohorns since they had to be used within musket range and had less effect than a rifle grenade.) Anyway, as for naval guns, bear in mind that with the exception of inland shore bombardment, for which they developed pretty good procedures with FOs during and after WW2, they still almost exclusively engaged targets they could see, with projectiles designed to directly strike the target before exploding. Ranges extended dramatically with radar, but regardless of how high the trajectory required to hit the target, they were (and are) still “seeing” and engaging a specific target. There are always exceptions to everything and I guess you could consider carronades as “howitzers” since the design philosophy was similar to that of field howitzers and they shined brightest at close quarters loaded with canister and grape. But they were just as often used with solid shot because they loaded fast and reduced velocities didn’t matter as much when ships fought “within pistol shot” of each other. Ships armed mostly with carronades, however, (USS Essex vs. HMS Phoebe and HMS Cherub), didn’t usually fare well against long “proper”guns. I won’t even get into the little 12pdr “boat” howitzers either because they were never intended as a “main” armament unless placed on an auxiliary and were otherwise just trundled aboard for special purposes. Anyway, I guess what this boils down to is that Naval guns are still . . . guns. That said, talk to just about any modern artilleryman and he’s probably going to call his howitzer a “gun” too–and I’m damn sure not going to correct him. I’m happy to call ANY artillery piece a “gun.” Is a .50 BMG a gun? Well, maybe. Far as I’m concerned, if you have to put wheels on it, mount it on a ship or tank or APC, or build an airplane around it to move it around, it’s probably a “gun.” A pistol or rifle, even Silva’s Doom Whomper, is not a gun.

          3. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Oh yeah, Bill. I can attest personally that you’re right about the reduced charges, even for French 75s. They used fixed shells, of course, (it’s easier to manage velocity variations with bag guns), but I know they provided 75mm cartridges of at least two lengths–that I’ve seen and fired myself–and the shorter cartridge was meant for jacking up the elevation and dropping a lower velocity shell closer.

          4. By Steve Moore on

            so there’s no more ‘this is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for killing, this is for fun’ in the field ar-til-le-ry? 😉

          5. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Why, whatever do you mean, Steve? I fail to see any inconsistencies. I’m surprised Matthieu hasn’t chimed in with some crack about “artillery” vs “small arms,” though.

          6. By William Curry on

            We could always have everybody line up for short arm inspection. :<)

          7. By Charles Simpson on

            I’ve heard the term Naval Rifle applied to the rifled cannon on modern vessels. As to a carriage I agree split trail and enough height to be loaded when pointing up at full elevation. The rifle could then be used for anti-air, direct fire, over the hill, and long range ballistic. Thus a Canon, Howitzer, and Anti-Aircraft weapon.

          8. By donald j johnson on

            Steve’s comment is about the boot camp phrase and i won’t tell you what they mean if you haven’t already heard its definition

          9. By William Curry on

            TM 9-1901 (1944) shows all fixed ammunition for the 75mm gun, but the propellant charge came in three flavors: Reduced, Normal and Supercharge. The same case was used in all varieties of 75mm gun. The 1917 “Manual for the Battery Commander 75mm Gun” shows the Model 1900 Shell N, FN or GN to have a velocity of 550 MPS and a reduced charge was available which produced 334MPS.

          10. By Steve Moore on

            Three of my college roommates were ROTC, so I learned to sing a lot of funny songs. Stopped at running in combat boots, though,

  33. By Paul Smith on

    If Ben Mallory ever gets time to ta a breath, he should think about setting up something like NACA to do research for future plane design. The ability to test scale designs in a wind tunnel would would be a lot less material intensive than trying full size aircraft, not to mention less stressful on test pilots, for instance the first PB-1 test flight. they’re going to need better designs for going up against the LoT, and just trying more HP on an existing frame or cleaning up a design will not get you very far.

    Reply
    1. By William Curry on

      I suggested some time ago that wind tunnels, even small ones are useful for things other than aircraft, for example air foil fans which have a lot of industrial and marine applications. Think Bessemer converters and force draft fans for boilers.

      Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Right. Basically all the Union needs is a fan and a soapbox.

          Reply
          1. By William Curry on

            Don’t forget the spring scale.

  34. By Joe Thorsky on

    I’m sure Y’all have been anxiously waiting with alcohol tinged and tainted breath for the right Correct Answer and Explanation to the previous query that I had posed to everyone.
    Aka- “A thought provoking question to tickle everyone’s knowledge, expertise and experience.”
    “Query-Who has the most powerful Air force in the World today?”

    If you were expecting the usual cutting edge technology military assessment;
    you guys would be sadly mistaken and wrong; particularly given that it’s
    so very obvious that the only correct answer and solution was/is/will be
    The Banker’s Air Force of the US Federal Reserve Board).
    FYI-This unofficially sanctioned organization and air fleet of MU-2’s and Lear 35’s had been and was contractually sanctioned and in operation just prior to-during and shortly after The First Gulf War of the Late 1980s/Late 1990s.
    Given its history, it’s contracting capability and its unlimited funding and budgeting which is? or can be resurrected and revived at any given time, circumstance or necessity makes it one of the most powerful underappreciated national economic organizations that exists today.
    The very letting of an extra legal contact with a black hole of financing and budgeting is what gives The Federal Reserve Board’s Air force its unquestionable power, lethality and sustainability against all economic national threats real, potential or otherwise.

    The Applied Economic Moral
    A farmer and two bankers are shipwrecked on an island.
    Two weeks later help finally arrives.
    The bankers greet their rescuer who remarks on how well they all look.
    Banker A: “we both realized the potential of the natural resources on this
    island were tremendous”.
    Banker B: “I created some fiat money, we divided it up. I lent Banker A
    ten times my share for a coconut farm startup, he invested ten times his
    share in an accountancy startup.”
    Rescuer: “Well that’s amazing, only where is it all, I don’t see any produce – just how did you both actually manage to survive?”
    Banker A: “We each used our debt to invest in futures and given the fertile
    land it was abundantly clear the land alone could generate wealth once hard labour was actively applied.
    We both realized significant paper profits and wealth.
    Oh, and we ate the farmer.

    Reply
  35. By Joe Thorsky on

    Youse Guys!

    A thought provoking question to tickle everyone’s knowledge, expertise and experience.
    Query-Who has the most powerful Air force in the world today?

    Hint?!-A physician, an engineer, and an economist were discussing who among them belonged to the oldest profession. The physician said, “Remember, on the sixth day God took a rib from Adam and fashioned Eve, making him the first surgeon. Therefore, medicine is the oldest profession.”

    The engineer replied, “But, before that, God created the heavens and earth from chaos, thus he was the first engineer. Therefore, engineering is an older profession than medicine.”

    Then, the economist spoke up. “Yes,” he said, “But who do you think created the chaos?”

    Reply
  36. By Alexey Shiro on

    Just a funny story I recalled:

    There is a funny story, about “missing equipment” on Tu-4 – Soviet carbon-copy of US B-29 bomber, made by reverse-engineering the machines, that took damage & land on Far East in 1944-1945. When first bombers were assembled, one of engineers suddenly notices the strange circle hole on the control panel. He tried to find out, what it was, and discovered that this hole was in all blueprints, copied directly from B-29, and engineers just assumed that it have some role. But no one actually knew, what it is.

    Of course, this caused a great stirr – some piece of equipment, maybe essential, was missed! A lot of efforts were put into finding out, what this hole is for, but nothing came out of this. This hole wasn’t connected with any part or system, It was just a hole in the panel. Eventually, they decided to just put Tu-4 into production with that hole, hoping that eventually the ansver would be found…

    Many years after, when Tu-4 was retired, they finally found out, that on B-29 this hole was made for Coca-Cola can)

    Reply
    1. By Joe Thorsky on

      Alexey

      The only hole I can see in related the story is the likelihood of it
      being a Coke-Cola bottle holder and not a soda cans one -due to
      strategic metal rationing immediate pre and post war
      C-rations, ashtray or beer can holder are the more likely possibilities.

      A Flying story-Two old ladies are flying on Aeroflot, the Russian airline.
      The state-of-the art, 4 engined turbofan jet is whisking them to some unknown city. Suddenly, there is a thud. The pilot comes on the intercom. “We have lost an engine, but do not panic, this is a well built aircraft. It will simply take us 30 minutes longer.” Everyone looks worried, but calms down and the flight goes on. Another thud, and the pilot again “We have lost another engine, do not worry, the plane is fine, it will simply take us an hour longer.” A while later, another thud. “We have lost the third engine. We have everything under control, and will be arriving 2.5 hours late.”
      At this, one lady tells the other “If we lose that other engine, we will be up here all day.”

      Fyi-Britain’s Royal Navy in 1944 launched the most ambitious plan for supplying soldiers with beer during World War II. Anticipating a long war in the Pacific, with impending shortages of beer for sailors on the high seas, the navy selected Adlams, brewery engineers based in Bristol, to design a “brewing boat” capable of making 250 barrels of beer per week using malt extract. Four such floating breweries were planned initially, although the number was reduced to two because of many technical problems, including exploding drums of extract. Two former minesweepers, the Agamemnon and the Menestheus, were chosen for the project and sent to Vancouver, Canada, in the summer of 1945 to be outfitted.
      But the war, or rather the lack of it, got in the way. After atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese surrendered on August 14, 1945. Meanwhile, the first test brew on board the “beer boat” was not completed until December 31, 1945, in Vancouver. Only the Menestheus was equipped with what was called the “Davy Jones Brewery.” It was sent on a single, somewhat meaningless voyage to Yokohama, Shanghai, and Hong Kong and other Pacific ports to dispense to sailors and visiting dignitaries just one brew, an English mild ale. After barely six months as a brewery, the Menestheus sailed back to England and her brew house was dismantled. Such a project was never undertaken again.
      http://allaboutbeer.com/article/beer-goes-to-war/

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Thought the AAF and RAF used beer barrels slung on the drop tank shackles to supply the front. They even calculated the speed and altitude needed to have the beer arrive ice cold (that must have been the AAF). Did the same in the Pacific.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Same thing for ice cream – apparently, fixing a DIY mixer to an aircraft and taking it up to near-freezing altitudes gets you pretty good sundae material. If they didn’t have a mixer, the GIs would just ask the pilots to do loops and barrel rolls.

          Reply
  37. By Paul Smith on

    I don’t remember a width for the El Paso del Fuego, but was wondering if it was narrow enough to build something like the Thames barrier, with locks in it for shipping. Cofferdam the pass in sections & build the barriers & locks, leaving them open during tides until completed. Build it across both ends to remove the racing current. When complete, close all sections & locks at slack tide. It then would have to only withstand the pressure of changing height of the sea, and storm surges.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      It’s on the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica; eyeballing the “map” and cross-referencing with Google gives you a channel about 20-30km (12-20 miles) wide, or ten times longer than the Three Gorges.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Smith on

        not real possible then, also forgot about dept of the pass. If you could do it, that would be one hell of an engineering marvel, especially with their current level of earth moving technology!

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          The problem doesn’t seem to be the size, so much as how one of two oceans is rushing through the strait at any given time. I wouldn’t say “impossible” (there was a plan to dam Gibraltar and drain the Mediterranean, after all), just not very practical in any of the present cast’s lifetimes.

          Reply
    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      With modern technology – heavy reinforced concrete, large dragging equipment, ground-moving industrial nuclear charges – yes, something like that would be possible. Still costly & not easy, but possible.

      On Destroyermen’s technological level? Absolutely impossible.

      Reply
  38. By Steve Moore on

    Sitting here on a rainy Sunday morning and putting new batteries in the camera, it struck me. The Imperials have an optics industry and watchmakers; why not give them one of the numerous cameras the Destroyermen brought over with them to reverse-engineer? That could bring them some needed phot-recon capabilities, useful not only in the war effort but in Saint Francis and the colonies to start exploring inland, not to mention West Africa. And that leads me to…

    A dedicated utility airframe, fitted with landing gear, sort of like the ‘Night Witch’ biplanes Alexey mentioned. Stretch a P-1C airframe, add a second cockpit and an upper wing, and you’d get a plane that can do a lot of things, especially in theaters where there’s no enemy air threat. Maybe even light ground attack. Export them to the RRP, the Imperial colonies; heck maybe even to the troops shadowing Halik. Put one of Halik’s officers in the back seat and do recon for Halik.

    Lou, you’re the airframe expert, would it be possible to make a bi-plane version of the P-1?

    Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      It’s possible, but personally I’d take some elements of the P-1 & design a new airframe. You’d need to figure out how & where you want to add it. Whether to make it a cantilever wing attached to the fuselage like the one it already has, or strut supported. Figure out the weight & balance of it & the lengthened fuselage, with observer, camera’s & presumably more fuel. Whether the engine will get it into the air in a reasonable distance. With every thing that it would entail, it’d be easier doing a design from scratch, for the recon/light attack mission. I might go with a single high wing design, like a Piper Cub.

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Speaking of high-wing designs, I forgot all about Tante Ju. How difficult to build a copycat design with Balkpaan technology? Muriname did some very thin sheet metal work for his planes, I believe.

        Reply
        1. By William Curry on

          We take cheap, high quality sheet metal, especially sheet steel for granted. It’s actually difficult to produce in quantity. I’m not sure the Allies are up to a continuous strip mill just yet. Imagine what our world would be with out cheap high quality sheet steel.

          Reply
    2. By Alexey Shiro on

      // ‘Night Witch’ biplanes //

      It is Po-2 biplanes. Actually, it’s U-2 (Uchebny-2, i.e. Trainer-2) biplanes, but the U-2 tended to create some mismash with “some other” well-known plane… 😉

      Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Well, other guys managed to have the same number of landings as takeoffs…

          Reply
        2. By Alexey Shiro on

          Yep) Both U-2 wrote important pages into the USSR history (the second as a first aircraft, shot down by SAM in actual engagement).

          Reply
    3. By Steve Moore on

      Well, just woolgathering while waiting out the rain. Just thinking that it’d be nice to have a rough-strip capable plane to see what’s up inland, and . Suppose you could take a Nancy or Buzzard inland and land at Lake Tahoe. I just figured that using existing parts/designs might make it happen sooner.

      Wonder if the colonies’ ‘mountain men’ have gone that far inland?

      Reply
    4. By Justin on

      Cantets should do the job well enough for an Imperial air force.

      Better give one to Mallory too – he might be able to give it a 200-lb payload like the Albatros C3.

      Reply
    5. By Paul Smith on

      I’d have them reverse engineer the large format camera that was damaged in the recon flight over Sofesshk. Or if they can develop it, something like the Fairchild K-1, 5″x7″, or an even larger format camera like the K-17,9″x9″. A whole new industy will have to come into being to make negative film, and maybe enlargers because contact prints won’t be all that useful. For aircraft, could they repurpose one or more of the torpedo planes captured on Zanzibar?

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Well, it’s all part of my postwar plan to map Western North America, the Trans-Africa Railroad built by Grik coolies, and introducing tractors to Austraal…. Taylor, we could keep you busy until you’re 90. Don’t forget, you also have to write “The Worlds I’ve Wondered” come 1956. 12 years, that’s about… what, 24 books?

        Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Yeah, but a good Destroyerman yarn is worth waiting for.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            DJ are you saying you’re 103 years old!? Well done!
            Taylor should honor you with a signed 1st edition as the senior DDman present for duty! :)

      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        With those ideas, improved engine fairings & variable pitch props, the STD would be pretty quick & very agile without the weight of a torpedo.

        Reply
        1. By Steve Moore on

          Could you make a slightly longer set of upper wings for a land-based plane, sort of like what the Brits did with their fighters? Would that extend range and payload?

          Reply
    6. By Paul Nunes on

      It’s the film not the camera that is the problem. If anyone has the formula for nitro cellulose film and nitro cellulose can be diverted from making smokeless gun powder may then.

      Reply
    1. By Justin on

      And for what purpose? Are we stopping just 12-pounders, or does the hypothetical armour need to block heavier shot too?

      It also depends on what type of wood you use. For example, Constitution got her nickname “Old Ironsides” from the fact that 32-pound balls regularly bounced off her live oak hull.

      Reply
      1. By Generalstarwars333 on

        It’d be blocking 12 pounders at a minimum, but preferably heavier shot since it would be protecting the magazine and guns of a ship. Like a wooden version of a central battery ironclad.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          So timberclads? You’ll want at least a 5″ bulwark to block small arms fire.

          Honestly, I’d just go for an ironclad. Allied industry can handle it.

          Reply
        2. By Steve Moore on

          Something tells me the Grik are going to come up with rifled shells soon. They had enough time to study Souffle.

          Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Those Grik galleys won’t have anything near that; gunboats with M2’s or 25mm would do them in, probably even P-1C’s with .30 BMGs. Maybe lash a few Grik Indiamen to the sides of the Santy Cat for more protection and to use as ‘camels’ to get her further upstream over sandbars, etc.

      Wonder if the Zambezi has flasher crocs? The AquaGriks didn’t seem to have any problems in tidal waters.

      AquaGriks… now there would be some allies for the invasion.

      Amazing what a good cup of joe or two will do for the morning thought processes. Unfortunately, no good donut shops in town… hey, that’s what the Lemurians are missing, donuts! Sorry, Matthieu, I think Earl’s talents probably don’t extend to making a good croissant. Maybe one of the left-behind LOT’s can open up a nice boulangerie in Grik City.

      Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        //AquaGriks… now there would be some allies for the invasion.//

        They are NOT Griks. Not even close. They are amphibians (described as soft-skinned and capable of skin-breathing); Griks are reptiles.

        Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            No. This is completely impossible. The amphibians are less, well, advanced taxon then reptiles. And the evolution did not go backward; more progressive traits did not de-volve to less advanced (for example, while dolphins became fish-shaped due to hydrodynamic requirements, they did not revert to gill-breathing).

            The “common ansestor” must be very, very far away in past. We aren’t talking about species – we are talking about classes. And class-level divergence required MUCH longer. Literally dozens of millions of years.

            So no, I don’t think there are any actual relations between Griks and Swamp Lizards.

          2. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Alexey, dolphins didn’t revert to gill breathing because they didn’t need to. They found a way to thrive as aquatic mammals. If they couldn’t thrive as aquatic mammals, they’d have evolved gills. Evolution isn’t some linear path going from single celled organisms to people. It’s whatever works. In the case of fish, it’s gills. In the case of dolphins, it’s popping up for air every so often. In the case of grik stuck in swamps for generations, it might well be becoming amphibians.

          3. By Generalstarwars333 on

            And of course you have the striking similarities in their society. Both the whatever the frog-griks are called and the actual grik have a single matriarchal ruler. In the case of the actual grik, it’s their celestial mother. In the case of the frog-thingies, it’s their big mother or whatever they called it. Been a while since I read that book.

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Alexey, dolphins didn’t revert to gill breathing because they didn’t need to. //

            Nah. Because it’s impossible. Dollo’s law of irreversibility clearly states, that “an organism never returns exactly to a former state, even if it finds itself placed in conditions of existence identical to those in which it has previously lived”.

            I.e. it is virtually impossible for dolphins to revert to gills, because organs, that served as gills for their ancestors long ago transformed into other organs, which now have completely different functions. Let’s not forget; evolution is NOT sentient. It is NOT a deliberate process; it is a number of random variations, thrown against the wall of natural selection.

            In short: this is absolutely impossible.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            //And of course you have the striking similarities in their society. Both the whatever the frog-griks are called and the actual grik have a single matriarchal ruler. In the case of the actual grik, it’s their celestial mother. In the case of the frog-thingies, it’s their big mother or whatever they called it. Been a while since I read that book.//

            Corellation does not imply casuation. There are a lot of differences between swamp lizard’s social structure & Grik social structure. It is more likely a cause of parallel evolution, than actual relations.

          6. By Justin on

            Alexey’s right. The cause is more likely convergent evolution, like how cetaceans and sharks have the same body shape. You don’t simply evolve something just because you want or need it.

        1. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

          I’m sorry guys, but I absolutely love this–that you are speculating so strongly and intelligently about something so (relatively) long ago in the series–that I just made up. Granted, the “swamp lizards” didn’t just get thrown in there; a lot of thought went into them and that whole episode was one of my favorite passages in all the books. But I love that they STILL inspire thought in others. The one and only thing I will add to the debate is that they were described as “amphibious” and not as “amphibians,” at least by anyone who would pedantically debate the difference at the time. I leave the rest to you. ARE they true amphibians or not? Looks like the whole argument revolves around that.
          Anyway, this reminds me of the great Gentaa debate. :) You all thought I was a loon, or that I had inexplicably changed the laws of nature, which would’ve been somewhat inconsistent for me, even the most violent critics agreed. Then, of course, it was revealed that the “hybrid” nature of the Gentaa was a sociological myth all along. I admit that I fed speculation about a physiological possibility for the purposes of amusing speculation about Silva and Risa, but it was still fun to watch the debates. I think by now you are all convinced that there will be no impossible hybrids (no Mr. Spock) in the story. Sure, there’s a touch of fantasy, but just as I swore there’d be no REAL space aliens causing everything or saving the day, there won’t be any (real) magic spells or (functioning) magical swords, etc. Hmm. I guess it remains possible that the crossover event itself is paranormal or supernatural (Adar thought so) but our heroes will always have to earn things the hard way, and with the exception of Tony Scott, no “resurrections.” And you’ll admit I had to have baked that in at the time. But I promise, if you SEE ’em dead, they’re dead. Hmm (again). Obviously, “resurrecting” sunken ships doesn’t count. :) But that wasn’t magic, just hard work.

          Reply
          1. By Lou Schirmer on

            I still contend the Gentaa could be the remains of the old civilization of “vanished gods” that built Sofesshk, driven out when the Grik showed up. Kind of like The Goths taking Rome, but never leaving & eating the Romans.

          2. By Steve Moore on

            Well, whatever they are, they’d make great salvage crews. Or UDT guys.

          3. By Justin on

            Let’s hope not – it’s a good theory, but a Gentaa “diaspora” creates very unfortunate implications, especially given the time period.

          4. By Paul Nunes on

            I am still waiting for a dolphin that is hell on flasher fish.

  39. By Paul Smith on

    by 1942, the battle of north africa had been waging for a year and a half. the Union, or at least the Destroyermen, should have had at least an idea of the italian/ german armor capabilites & specs. they should figure at least close to parity of the LoT’s vehicles. I would think they are trying to figure what sort of armor they would need to defeat the probable canons they would be facing. the Grik won’t have much beyond what we’ve already seen. Tanks would probably perform best in Africa, coming up out of the Republic. At least more open savanna type spaces. Also should try to develop more dedicate close air support craft like the B-25J, maybe a clipper with .30’s mounted like the J model. Extremely useful in all theaters, at least with present linear tactics.

    Reply
      1. By Paul Smith on

        Yes, the designs associated with our timeline would be later, of course. that means, hopefully, we would have an idea of the specifications of the tanks that would be similar or identical to what the LoT would field. Also wondering if, same as the aircraft, Daimler-Benz or Krupp would have been taken over by Italian/French/Spanish companies.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Messerschmitt wasn’t exactly “taken over” so much as “butterflied into a completely separate company.” It could be that we’ll see some ATL manufacturers and tanks, but if I were an author having to research all of this, it’s probable that League tanks are familiar tanks from pre/mid-1939 at best.

          Though who knows, the Allies might have to face “SOMUA S38s” or something.

          Reply
    1. By Charles Simpson on

      10,000 years ago north Africa was lush Savana rivers lakes plenty of water. The Sahara Desert moved north and south. this might indicate the climate and rain fall patterns of the mini-Ice Age.

      Reply
      1. By donald j johnson on

        actually I think if you really check you will find it was 12,000 years ago that it was Lush and wet period by 10,000 years ago it was already drying out, although it didn’t reach the full dryness for another 5000 years

        Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      Lotta jungle between Libya and South Africa; it is equatorial Africa. Better to let the Lots come to you. If they come, it’ll be through Somaliland, I think. They need the Grik as slaves to dig the canal.

      Clippers as ground attack a/c?
      Build a long-barrelled AA gn like the Flak 88 and use it in a dual-purpose role.
      Union needs to defend RRP as one of the crown jewels in their perimeter defense. Other is Pasa de Fuego, before the Chinese buy it.

      Reply
      1. By Generalstarwars333 on

        I’d say make more DP 4″50’s, but maybe on a dedicated AA mount. A 102mm AA gun. or maybe start making 3″23’s for AA again, but I figure a 4 inch shell is better against airplanes than a 3 inch shell, especially since they’re already tooled up to make 4″ flak rounds.

        Reply
      2. By Justin on

        Flying boats with a top speed of 90 mph… against Flak 36s and Mochas? Better start writing the obis now.

        Reply
        1. By Generalstarwars333 on

          I think clippers have a higher top-speed than 90mph. 90 is the top speed of a nancy, while clippers have a top speed of 110 mph. And if you pack a ton of .30’s or .50’s in the nose, they could do a number on the grik.

          Reply
          1. By Alexey Shiro on

            Against Grik – sure, but against LoT forces – they have basically zero chances.

          2. By Justin on

            Other way around; PB-1B’s got 110 mph, PB-5’s got 90. Gotta bring both planes up to at least 250 mph if we want any of them to come home.

          3. By donald j johnson on

            are you sure that the PB one and other flying boats are that slow. the pby-5 which is what they are based on flu at 196 miles an hour flat out and cruised at 125 with maximum efficiency at a hundred and nine

          4. By Justin on

            – I’m going off the specs at the back of the book; feel free to argue the point with our author.

            – Note that the Union boats are based off the Catalina, but they don’t have the exact same lines and dimensions and machinery. The Fleashooter also underperforms compared to the P-26 or P-29.

          5. By Lou Schirmer on

            They’re very draggy airframes. The drawings of the Nancy’s show a conglomeration of struts holding the wing in place & the engine sticks out of the top of the wing without any sort of fairing. The Clippers all have their engines mounted above the wing with struts also. This combined with low power engines & a fixed geometry propeller will make for a pretty slow plane. I think the top speed of the P-1D might be a bit optimistic, but the rest are all in the correct neighborhood.

          6. By Steve Moore on

            Sounds like a job for Engineer Lou, but he already did a twin-engine pursuit job, as I recall.

          7. By Justin on

            I believe somebody on the Facebook page suggested a wooden XF5-F (similar dimensions, but with twin wing engines instead of push/pull).

        2. By Matt on

          Yeah flying boats are also more limited in the ground attack role than a more conventional design would be. Keep them doing what they are good at, maritime patrol & recon and light bombing of naval targets and coastal areas. A conflict with the League would likely be both a major naval and ground war. Up to this point the Union has focused mostly on the naval aspect. That makes sense, most of their territory consists of islands separated by hundreds and even thousands of miles. But Africa is a big mound of dirt and naval aviation can only penetrate so far into the interior before having to turn around. Proper land based fighters, bombers and attackers on proper air strips will need to be built at some point.

          Reply
          1. By donald j johnson on

            But flying boat is an excellent ground attack craft when painted black and used at night. It’s slower speed does not affect its accuracy and it’s harder to see so therefore harder to hit from the ground. The US used pby’s and the Japanese also use their see planes as ground attack during World War II. see the earlier comment about the second Pearl Harbor attack that failed but only due to poor planning

          2. By Justin on

            Keep in mind that the Black Cats were targeting lightly-armed merchant ships like Mizuki Maru… and were 100 mph faster. Send a PB-5 at 90 mph up against a League hard target that’s got spotlights, AA and night fighters, all you’re doing is giving them free firewood.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            Donald, with all respect – large, slow, lumbering plane on low altitude is a “good ground-attack craft” only for those, who would be unfortunate to be hit by its debrees. The League have late-1930s anti-air defenses; which means tgat they have acoustic search stations, searchlights and anti-air machineguns in numbers.

            The USSR tried to use the old TB-3 bombers in ground attack role early in the war; it didn’t worj well at all. And TB-3 was all-metal bomber, made by well-established industry; MUCH more capable bird than current Alliance flying boats.

          4. By Charles Simpson on

            Alexy IIRC the Russians used obsolete small biplanes as bombers effectively early in the war that the Germans called night witches. Effective night fighters need radar and late 1930s radar was not that good. The American Black Cats got Japanese naval vessels as well as freighters. The Japanese used a night bomber called Washing Machine Charlie against American bases at night in the Solomon’s too.

          5. By donald j johnson on

            // The League have late-1930s anti-air defenses; which means tgat they have acoustic search stations, searchlights and anti-air machineguns in numbers.//

            searchlights make good targets for the machine guns on first pass. low and slow with engines at idle or off also is a good way to sneak in. Of course this depends on having a reliable engine that can restart quickly otherwise you don’t go home.

          6. By Justin on

            Seems like a good time to point out that Clippers are neither as nimble as Po-2s, nor as small – and it’s going to be real hard to nail a spotlight from high above even if all the MGs weren’t facing backwards.
            The only role they’ve had so far is level bombing like B-17s, and that’s not going to work very well against the League.

            Matt and Alexey are right – keep the flying boats for soft targets and recon/patrol. Let’s wait for real bombers before we start talking Sturmoviks and Mitchells.

          7. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Honestly, if they put a .50 cal in a flea-shooter they could use that for ground attack. It wouldn’t be durable, but it could probably rip up most targets.

          8. By donald johnson on

            // it’s going to be real hard to nail a spotlight from high above even if all the MGs weren’t facing backwards.//

            I was not referring to high level attacks. I was referring to low level attacks. When attacking at night your noise is muffled by the surrounding trees and buildings. At sea there would not be this effect but I do not suspect that there will be many night attacks at sea. On land however with a sitting target and low level attacks should they get a light turned on in time then An MG facing front would be good. This is assuming that the enemy is prepaired with spotters in outlying areas that can radio/telephone ahead in sufficient time to warn any spotlight handlers. You must realize that the spotlights are carbon arc lamps and not incadesant lamps. Carbon arcs are not quick starting devices and usually take between 1 and 3 minutes to start up and get put to work.
            A low level attack at even 90mph would have to be detected and have sent in their warning from 5 miles out to do any good in this time frame otherwise the enemy will have to replace the carbons in the arc lamp much too often. it takes at least 1/2 hour to replace the carbons as they need to cool and they only last about 4 to 6 hours if their life is at all similar to the old carbon arc movie theaters.

          9. By Justin on

            Of course the League’s going to have forward positions and scouts. They’re villainous, not incompetent.

            As it is, the Buzzards have problems with trees in broad daylight; over a jungle, the slower, bulkier Clipper will need to fly at 100m or more above deck just to avoid collisions.
            Not much better over savannah or desert terrain, because then you can go lower, but you’ve also got AA shooting at you. Rifles too; remember how Fred and Kari keep getting downed by Dommie muskets?

            It’s an alright idea, so long as the focus is on demoralizing the League and preventing them from getting any rest, rather than a serious attack run. An accurate CAS at night in WWII mini water bombers – much less strafing a spotlight – is probably not going to happen.

          10. By Charles Simpson on

            Remember the League has not fought with a power with aircraft since 1939 and may be rusty in antiaircraft defense after five years.

          11. By Justin on

            “Out of practice” doesn’t necessarily mean “Imperial stormtrooper;” remember that the equally-rusty Macchischmitt pilots managed to down Saansa and Conrad’s considerably faster P-40s.

          12. By Alexey Shiro on

            Considering Po-2 as night bombers – our pilots used interesting tactics of “flak baiting” on them. The idea was, that the group of Po-2 attacked something, driving attention of anti-aircraft units – and as soon as german AA’s opened fire, the second group if Po-2 (which slovly circled on the lowest possible altitude, masking their engines under the noises of first group) swiftly attacked the AA defenses, strafed them with MG’s and dropped small bombs on them. Considering how quiet and stealthy could be Po-2 in the night, this tactics led to significant losses in German AA gunners & weaponry.

          13. By donald johnson on

            //remember that the equally-rusty Macchischmitt pilots managed to down Saansa and Conrad’s considerably faster P-40s.//

            At least one of them were taken by surprise as he was was taking notes and that evens the odds greatly.

          14. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Saansa never had a chance. Not only was she preoccupied and unsuspecting that the Macchi-Messers even existed, she wasn’t a dogfighter–and her P-40 “something” was a slug with the floats. And the 3rd Pursuiter’s fight with the other LoT planes wasn’t a good yardstick for the comparable virtues of either plane or their pilots. With the exception of Diebel, absolutely none of them were really experienced at air to air combat and it showed. Ben did pretty well against Kurokawa’s fighters at Mahe–but his plane was basically shot down by them in the melee over Lizard Ass Bay. If you think about it, the ONLY pilot the Allies have now who has successfully tangled with planes and pilots with SOME known superior characteristics is Orrin Reddy. Well, Ben did it in his PBY vs Dave incident, but that hardly counts because it was more a matter of desperate cunning than skill. I’d say Orrin and probably Shirley are the “top guns” of the Alliance. And who knows, maybe Orrin will finally get back in the cockpit of a P-40 again, before they’re all gone.

          15. By Steve Moore on

            Didn’t Diebel knock down some Japanese planes with a Buffalo?

          16. By Lou Schirmer on

            Yes, but I think Diebel is deadish. Didn’t he get shot down over water?

          17. By Justin on

            The original point being that rustiness isn’t stopping the League from scoring kills. A Clipper’s top speed is a Macchi’s takeoff speed – even if it’s their first day on the job, League flak and small arms present a significant threat to a big, clumsy target flying low.

          18. By Paul Nunes on

            A low level 90mph strafing run over open water in a flying boat?

            Navy vessels are in groups so the plane would be engaged from two, three, four different directions. You might try for a pixket ship. That ship would go to flank speed and turn bow on to the plane while the other pickets would lay in AAA on the planes flight path from the sides.

            While machines would be firing out to two thousand yards. Auto cannons in 20, 25, 30, 37mm are going to reach out to three thousand to four thousands yards. The naval secondaries will open up with fused exploding shells and star shells to make a bright strobing wall of shrapnel at 5000, the drop by 500 yard increments.

            All that would happen is the loss of planes.

    3. By Charles Simpson on

      It is not in the interest of the Alliance or Grik to go to war with the League as they have thrashed themselves in their current war.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Smith on

        Isn’t the standing order in the Union to sink on sight any ship flying the LoT flag? I say that probably indicates a state of war already exists.

        Reply
        1. By Alexey Shiro on

          Not exactly. This cover only the Indian Ocean (i.e. internal Union communications).

          Reply
          1. By Justin on

            It covers every ocean – remember Antunez?

            So they’re technically at war, but they’re not in any position to prosecute it. “Phoney war” would be the best definition.

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            The League will not know about Antúnez until the League prisoners are released. They will know she has missed her communications schedule and is presumed lost. As the League is using very limited means of causing it’s potential foes harm with little loss of modern weapons, and the allusion of internal problems of it’s own. this is why I think the League and Alliance will be in a cold war not a hot one.

          3. Taylor AndersonsBy Taylor Andersons on

            Alexey’s right. Matt was actually pretty specific about the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He had no idea the LoT would know Donaghey’s destination, would specifically look for her, and would actually find her. And Garrett wasn’t enforcing the “sink on sight” order, he was enforcing his own “they’re not screwing with us again” mindset–and a good thing for him and his crew, too, as it turned out. Oriani wouldn’t have spared anybody.
            But things are starting to move pretty fast, with people on the spot forced to make quick decisions. “Phony War” is a good analogy, to a degree. Whether or not either side is ready for any serious operations against the other, you can bet they’ll approach any isolated encounter anywhere as potentially hostile and the relative strength of those making the encounter will probably trigger a binary decision making process: Run or fight.

          4. By Alexey Shiro on

            So, I assume, it works like that: if League/Alliance ship clarified the intention of moving somewhere (and follow the supposed course) the other side would probably observe, maybe shadow, but would not act hostile. But if non-announced League/Alliance ship appeared in opposite-controlled areas… well, all blades are out. Something like that?

          5. By Justin on

            ^ Sounds about right. I could see the Caribbean becoming a DMZ, with Union/League pickets on either side of it. And of course, it provides a convenient way for an “SS Kobayashi” to start the next war…

      2. By Steve Moore on

        I think the next time the Union goes up against the LOT, it’s going to be the New World. The LOT will go for Venezuela & oil, then wipe out the Nussies AND the Dom leadership. Instant New World Empire, since the Union forces are even weaker there.

        Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          I do not think the league will attempt to interfere in South America. They have too much to lose on their own base of operations if they removed too much man power. they only interfered in the war against the grik to help prevent us from being too successful too soon. and at this they failed because it forced us to attack sooner due to the capture of Ready’s wife. It is my opinion but they will not be ready to have active warfare in South America for at least 10 years and have reliable new troops to use from their slave population.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            LOT is a lot closer to the New World than the RRP, and they’re already there. They have two 19th century navies to defeat to control the oil resources of the Gulf of Mexico, the Pass, and the Mississipi Delta (and by inference, control of the the central portion of the USA. Unless they’ve got bases right around Namibia or Angols, and are willing to take on the Dark, why go back to the Indian Ocean when they’ll have the Pass on a platter.

          2. By Charles Simpson on

            If the alliance gains control of the Pass of Fire, they have the Cape of Good Hope and probably Magellan’s pass essentially locking the league into the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic. Without Alliance control of the Pass of Fire the Alliance will play hob to supply the NUS.

          3. By Steve Moore on

            The Union is pretty much at the same place as the Allies in 1944; two enemies, both on the retreat, but its going to be Griks first and just keep the Doms in retreat until they can get the NUS actively pressing from the east. This leaves the temporary vacuum in the Gulf of Mexico; the NUS aren’t Allies yet, and my bet is that if the LOT said, ‘Hey, guys, we’ll knock off the Doms for you, give you North America and we’ll take the Pass & South America’, the Nussies would take it. They don’t want the west coast; having the breadbasket of the Mississippi is enough, as well as more defensible. And at this point, the Dom’s people on the east coast have not yet met the Union, so any way out of the theocracy would look good to them. Don’t forget a large portion of the LOT is nominally Catholic, so there’s an advantage there as well.

          4. By donald j johnson on

            //:And at this point, the Dom’s people on the east coast have not yet met the Union//:
            I would not bet on this. from inference of things said the inference is there that the lot and the league have met. carefully reread the interrogation in the last book.

  40. By Alexey Shiro on

    Just a note about old ships durability:

    https://c.radikal.ru/c04/1801/ec/3fa46fe6682d.jpg

    This is submarine salvage & rescue vessel “Komunna” steaming on new excercises in a Black Sea. She was launched in 1913, so by now, she is more than a century old (105 years to be precise).

    And yes, she is on active service and not as museum or training ship. She is a bit too little to raise modern subs, unfortunately, but she is a perfect base for search & rescue miget underwater vessels.

    Reply
      1. By Alexey Shiro on

        Yeah, she is probably one of the oldest – if not the oldest – military ships in actual service.

        Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Of course, she’s been rebuilt on numerous occasions. It puts me in mind of a quote from a book concerning an ax. “My father replaced the handle, and I replaced the head, but other than that it’s all original”. If none of the original materials are left over, is it really still the same ship?

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            As far as wooden ships go, none of them stay “original” for long. Worms, dry rot, seaweed & wear & tear have them being virtually rebuilt every 10-15 years or so, especially the military ones.

          3. By Alexey Shiro on

            //the USS Constitution still goes out occasionally and she was built in 1805 or thereabouts//

            She go out, yes, but she does not preform any actual military service. While “Kommuna” is the serving mobile base for salvage midget-subs & underwater unmanned vessels.

          4. By Generalstarwars333 on

            She’s still commissioned in the navy and is the official flagship of the United States Navy. She just doesn’t shoot at stuff anymore.

          5. By Taylor Anderson on

            All good points. She is the “same” ship figuratively and offically regardless of how many times she has been rebuilt. She does NOT serve in the same role she was designed for—a first line warship in the US Navy, a role she filled very well in her prime. She IS the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world, however.

          6. By Matt on

            I don’t remember who but one of the South American countries has a little steam powered river gunboat that was built before the turn of the century and is still in active service.

          7. By Generalstarwars333 on

            Matt, I think the country you mean might be paraguay. They’ve got at least one of their old river gunboats still in service as their flagship. Interestingly, despite paraguay being poor as heck and smaller than my social life, they had the best riverine gunboats in the world in the 30’s.

    1. By Matt on

      Nice design. I question the casemate guns. Real world experience showed them to be wet and generally useless outside of calm seas. Can anything be done to mitigate that? On paper its an impressive broadside.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        Thanks.
        True, if mounted below the main deck, but these are above that & after all, it will only be their second blue water design, influenced by the crew of the Amerika. Actually, I think Scharnhorst’s 8″ casemates were high enough to fight in most weather. It was her 5.9″ casemates below that, that would be wet. With more experience, they would probably go with an all turret design for more space/armor savings. Still, with their protection, they would probably give a modern cruiser a run for it’s money.

        Reply
        1. By Matt on

          What I really like about it is that the caliber choice allows for a very concentrated “all big gun” dreadnought style design. Usually the casemates would be secondaries, and that would reduce their usefulness even more. For a ship this size the secondaries would be 4 or 5 inch guns which would mean they would be more dedicated to fighting smaller craft and aircraft. The casemate is a bad choice for that. However with them being 8″ guns they can focus on longer range gunnery.

          The inclusion of an AA suite from the start is also nice. Hopefully the Republic ship builders will listen to Union experience on that front.

          Reply
    2. By Steve Moore on

      What do you think of this idea? While building the Imperator class (which won’t be ready for a few years) build a squadron of DE’s to give RRP Navy more blue-water experience in their home waters, as well as providing a scouting force for the Cape. DE’s will be ready much sooner (with help from Balk’paan) and Jenks could salt a few Imperials in with them (common language and some heritage, plus no conflict as with Nussies) to gain iron ship experience. Lou already has the design on the drawing boards, and they’dd have the benefits of air cover from all the air bases the RRP will need to build. DE’s and improved Walkers are what’s needed to secure the east African coast. When this cruiser class is ready, they’ll have an experienced navy.

      Taylor, maybe Muriname’s men could defect to the RRP, since no hard feelings there as there would be coming over to the Americans. Imagine what 3 squadrons of modern planes could do for the RRP. Not to mention that Zanzibar’s a lot closer, if there’s any machinery left.

      Oh, yeah, I’m going to bring up the blue-water iron hulled cargo ships again. They might be useful as well. With a few guns, they’d be a good merchant patrol along the east African coast, and could outrun any Grik ship left. Plus they’d function as a cadet academy to prepare sailor for warship duty, with a catapult and 2 nancys.

      Reply
    3. By Steve Moore on

      Are the torpedoes going to be an effective weapon, if they have to close to within 3000 yards? Awful expensive targets. At that point, you’re almost in 25mm range to sweep their decks

      Wouldn’t mind seeing a cargo hold full of these in the next transfer… now that they can do fancy machining.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_WC_series

      Reply
      1. By Matt on

        Torpedoes as they are now are pretty useless, however the beauty of building them to use standard 21inch tubes is that everything built today with torpedo tubes can effectively use them when they get better. Having good torpedoes isn’t that far off. The union is getting better at it every day and has good designs to model. In a few years they will have some very lethal designs so putting tubes on ships now isn’t a bad idea. I do question putting them on heavy cruisers, the seem better suited to DDs and smaller. But the point remains. Even WW1 era fish are battleship killers. Soon enough they will have them.

        Reply
      2. By Justin on

        There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it line in Chapter 11 that Baalkpan Ordnance’s new torps can reach 6k yards (rounding down from the claimed 10k yards). If an Allied battlewagon ends up in a South DakotaKirishima duel, or just gets the opportunity to ambush, well, better to have them… so long as they’re not oxygen torps, of course.

        As for transfers, I’m guessing a Liberty ship en route to either Iwo Jima or Okinawa… or on the way home after the surrender. This may be relevant: http://www.usmm.org/capacity.html
        Either way, a few hundred free jeeps/tanks/trucks/halftracks would be very useful later on.

        Reply
        1. By donald j johnson on

          A 25mm at 3000 yards is Point Blank Range you would have to be at least 10,000 yards out to be safe from a 25 mm weapon and they could probably hit you with that range just not accurately and you must realize that due to the Firepower of a 25 mm they’re going to sweep your decks even at that range in a sailboat. yes there will be a lot of wasted ammunition

          Reply
        2. By Lou Schirmer on

          //There’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it line in Chapter 11 that Baalkpan Ordnance’s new torps can reach 6k yards (rounding down from the claimed 10k yards).//

          Page 210, at the bottom. Baalkap Nav-Ord says they’ll do 30 knots & up to 10K yards, but Bernie says 6K yards is more realistic.

          Thanks Justin, I missed that. Six thousand yards is about 3.5 miles & a decent engagement range. If they could actually do 10k yards at 30 knots, they would be getting close to the USN Mk 14 torpedo.

          http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WTUS_WWII.php

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            When Hardee went in at Zanzibar, didn’t he close to 2500 to 3000 yds? 30 knot torps will hit from 6k yds when your target is slow (12 knots or less) and cumbersome but against LOT, they’re going to need either something like the long lance or LOTs of fish (wasn’t the German WW2 homing torpedo a LoT?)
            Good reference article from Lou.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Right, they still need improvement. They seem to be about at the early Mark 8 stage or about 1915 of torpedo development. The later marks had higher speeds &/or range & heavier warheads. That said, a reliable 6K yards at 30 knots with possible 7-8K yards, is not to be sneezed at. In night actions, fog, rain or smokey conditions, those are very achievable ranges. If they can make an air dropped version & an attack bomber to carry it, that’s all the range & speed they need.

          3. By Justin on

            Note that Japanese crews were able to torp American DDs and cruisers from 20km away. It’s pretty much all about how much of the element of surprise you have.

          4. By Justin on

            The main problem I see with a torp ambush is that at 25kn, the cruisers won’t be able to keep up with the destroyers; either they’ll have to form a separate division, or the DDs’ll have to slow down considerably.

          5. By Alexey Shiro on

            //Note that Japanese crews were able to torp American DDs and cruisers from 20km away. It’s pretty much all about how much of the element of surprise you have.//

            Exactly. The Japanese long-range torpedoes weren’t very effective as long-range weapon, actually; most of hits with them were achieved on average torpedo distances. The few long-range hits really achieved were usually against targets on predictable course, which did not suspect the presence of enemy destroyers or their ability to reach that far.

          6. By Steve Moore on

            Stand off at night using your other advantage, night fighting, break up the formation, then close with guns. Makes a lot more sense than charging the enemy in daylight and getting the crap shot out of you. The Brit MTBs learned that in the Channel really quick.

          7. By Justin on

            Of course, all bets are off if the Union can’t figure out/acquire radar in time. Not going to be able to spot anything in low-vis without it.

          8. By donald j johnson on

            At 20,000 yards Destroyer that is 400 feet long is approximately one tenth of a degree long which means your accuracy has to be extremely good assuming you can even see it remembering that the Horizon is only 6000 yards away due to the curvature of the Earth for a 6-foot man yes it is greater from the deck or The Forecastle of a destroyer but my mental calculater isn’t working that well right now

          9. By Steve Moore on

            Thinking more about this: Mi-Anaakaa have excellent night vision, maybe even better with Imperial optics? Union torps have longer range, so maybe crib some tactics from the IJN and use the longer range they have now to stand off and sink slow or moored ships. MTBs up the Zambezi to leave a few wrecks in the channel? Or maybe leave a few mines behind, if they cant figure a way to drop them from Nancys.

          10. By Charles Simpson on

            OK the Grik Swarm is about 1,000,000 Figure 100-200 per Galley that’s 10,000 to 5,000 galleys They got what at most 30 TBs, 10 steam frigates, two Walker clones, two carriers, and Santi Cat between 50 to 100 to one. Even if they get the new cruiser and two Walker clones to the front it will still be a fight against long odds, and a hundred pounder in the bow will give a galley a chance to sink a steel hulled ship.

            Actually a chain in the river between two forts might be the way to go. Incendiary sub munitions fire bomb the galleys and try for a firestorm to increase the carnage. Ammunition will be short. A .30 Browning MG given enough time and Ammunition will sink a galley but again there are only so many MGs and rounds. They probably have less than a hundred torpedoes.

            Just saying this one might not be a pushover 😉

          11. By Matt on

            That’s why the plan is to plug the river with Santy Cat. I think the captain realizes that if they get out into the strait he simply doesn’t have enough ships and guns to finish them all. But if they can keep them on the Zambezi then it doesn’t really matter.

          12. By Alexey Shiro on

            Hm… what about the old British “fire barrage” idea? I.e. spread the oil on water surface & ignite it? Against wooden galleys it might actually work well; lets not forget, that such mass of ships could not react on the new threat fast…

          13. By Alexey Shiro on

            And lets not forget, there would be not only numerous galleys, but also Grik “Arata Amagi Kai” battleships, coming against the Union blockade. And they are more problematic, because they are durable.

  41. By Justin on

    Right. If anything, a full 102mm L50 is (at best) going to be mounted on a flatcar.

    Reply
    1. By Justin on

      That’s a reply to the tank destroyer thread below; seriously, you’d need a Maus-sized AFV in order to carry a DD gun.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        From what I can find a 4″/50 weighs about 3 tons, not 25.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Right, but the damn thing’s WAY too cumbersome to fit in a StuG or Sherman without circumcising it. Might work as a towed piece like a Flak 36.

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            What about something like a marder. I don’t mean a vehicle the size of a marder, of course, but something visually similar. i.e. an open topped vehicle with a 4″50 on top. A kind of tracked flatcar in a way. Yeah, it’d be vulnerable to small arms fire, but it could swat any league tank like a fly. Plus it could be used for a self propelled gun of sorts.

          2. By Justin on

            That’d be good – much easier to advance or withdraw an SPG than a limbered gun. Bit of a high profile though, being mounted on a flatbed and all.

          3. By Matt on

            Ummm, the Model T Ford had 20HP. I don’t think it can pull a 4″/50. And even if it could I’d hate to see how it would handle the recoil. I imagine the whole thing would flip. Remember, the 4″/50 is roughly comparable to a modern Tank cannon, except its even heavier and more built up.

            Given the engine and brake technology they have it is almost guaranteed that the lightest they could come up with for a gun like that is a half track, more likely a full on tracked Tank Destroyer. I can’t find numbers for the weight of a German 88 right now but I’m sure the 4″/50 weighs more. Naval guns are generally more over built thank land based mobile artillery and direct fire weapons. I’d question whether you would even fit one in the turret of a T-54 of M60, both of which carried guns of comparable caliber.

            What we really need is a proper AT cannon. Since we are building new 4″/50s today and even making upscaled versions, AT guns aren’t outside the realm of technical feasibility. The development work just needs to be done.

            I think as a start production on copies of Walker’s old 3″/23 should begin. Then we can make Male and Female versions of the new tanks very much like the British did. That will help in the short term and devastate any Grik or Dom forces that meet them. It’s small, light and carries a useful explosive charge. Great for taking out emplacements and fortifications. In fact im surprised Letts hasn’t gotten Balkpan Arsenal making them as artillery. They are perfect as Field Guns. In the long term a high velocity 3inch (75-76mm) gun should be developed. Not unlike the Sherman’s main gun. It will be more than up to the task of taking on 1939 era European tanks that the League can field and can also double as a good artillery piece. Or at least the basis for one.

  42. By Paul Smith on

    I havn’t seen anything about a comparison of the quality of the torpedos created by the Union vs kurokawa’s group. how would they stack up as far as range, explosive power, speed & reliability. Are they based on the “long lance”? I know there isn’t much said about them, but I assume there were a few of them captured at Zanzibar. Also the twin engined torpedo bombers, will any be taken back to copy? Any knowledge gained is an asset for the union.

    Reply
    1. By David DuBois on

      The Japanese Type 93 torpedo, better known as the “Long Lance” torpedo, carried almost twice the explosive charge as the Mark XIV, ran faster and more accurately. The Mark XIV had a maximum range of 8,000 yards while the Type 93 had an effective range of up to 40,000 yards, almost 25 miles (although it was never launched at such extreme range) and worst of all for the Americans, the Type 93 carried self-contained oxygen, meaning that the torpedo left no telltale torpedo track. This usually meant that the target ship had little or no time to make last minute alterations in course to avoid the oncoming torpedo. The Long Lance torpedo was 24″ in diameter and 29.5 feet long, and the launching tubes were designed accordingly. The infamous Mark XIV, on top of all the technical problems that rendered this torpedo the worst torpedo ever designed, was smaller at 21″ in diameter and 20.5 feet long. The warhead in the Long Lance was also much larger,1080 pounds versus 643 pounds. The Type 91 was the aerial version of the Type 93, at 18 feet long and 17.25 feet long with a warhead of 713 pounds and an effective range of 2200 yards. The Americans used the Mark XIIV aerial torpedo beginning in 1935, 13.5 feet long, 22.5 inches in diameter with a warhead of 600 pounds and a range of about 4,400 yards and subject to as many technical issues as the Mark XIV and disliked by the pilots that had to fly with them.

      Based on the the fact that the new torpedoes were designed to replace the Type 91, Kurokawa’s torpedoes would carry a heavier punch. The Japanese would also have the advantage that they knew the workings of the Type 91 and Type 93 intimately, while the American’s are not only trying to build a torpedo, theirs would be smaller and they are trying to design a torpedo that did not have the faults that the original Mark XIV torpedo had. It is doubtful that the Walker crew or Ben Mallory ever saw a Mark XIIV torpedo let alone worked on one. The Walker crew would be making a new torpedo from scratch while the Japanese would be using their intimate knowledge of their better torpedoes to make a new torpedo. I’d have to think that the Japanese had the initial advantage.

      Reply
      1. By Charles Simpson on

        It is possible that Japanese torpedo men from IJN Hidoiame and examples of the type 93 torpedoes were captured after the ship was trumped over. The Japanese did not go back to Japan due to the burning of the Lemurian village of Ani-aaki. These men and torpedoes may be reverse engineered. Hopefully some examples of Kurokawa’s areal torpedoes are heading to be made.

        Reply
    2. By donald j johnson on

      I would have to doubt that the union torpedoes are based on the long-lance. The lack of the ability to separate and store the oxygen as well as the dangers involved would make all involved take a long look at other drive methods.

      Reply
      1. By Lou Schirmer on

        I agree on the danger of using O2, but they could still incorporate some of the engineering features of the Long-Lance to increase the speed & range of their current models.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Unfortunately, said speed/range was the direct result of using oxygen (rather than compressed air) as the oxidizer, rather than any kind of machinery.

          Increased speed and range, but a chance that one unlucky bomb/shell can sink the ship. Decisions, decisions…

          Reply
          1. By Generalstarwars333 on

            An unlucky bomb or shell can sink the ship no matter what. Do the increased range and speed outweigh however likely the torpedoes are to explode?

          2. By Justin on

            Ever heard of the Chokai? During the Battle of Samar, she earned the dubious honour of being the only ship ever sunk by a carrier’s guns… not because the 5″/38 is that deadly to a heavy cruiser, but because one shell hit Chokai‘s Long Lance tubes, and the blast crippled her as if the Americans torpedoed her themselves.
            The Mikuma, Suzuya and countless other IJN ships were lost the same way – some not even in combat.

            See, compressed oxygen is volatile; any nearby incendiary like fires, bombs, shells, or even a grenade can set an oxygen torp off. IMO, the only explosions the Allies should be worrying about are the enemy’s.

          3. By donald j johnson on

            my friend has an oxygen concentrator. last week the hose from it somehow got bumped into his wall furnace. the aftermath was that he had extremely bad burn lines in his carpet and was fortunate that he was able to extinguish the ensuing fire with a full glass of coke that he was carying. things could have been much worse and if he were using a bottle it would have been. pure oxygen is just too dangerous when fuel and ignition is nearby.

          4. By William Curry on

            You don’t need a source of ignition. The friction of the O2 and grease or oil is enough to set it off. We had to use specially cleaned pipe, valves and fittings when we were installing O2 systems. I know of one case where a mechanic was cracking an O2 bottle to clear its opening before installing the bottle and had oil on his pants and set his pants on fire.

          5. By Matt on

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUKcHe0-m_I

            Yeah I think there’s a reason oxygen torpedoes fell out of favor. How about Otto fuel? modern torpedoes are powered by it and the main component is propylene glycol which, if I understand things right, shouldn’t be too hard to make. Would have to ask Courtney about that, he’s the closest thing they have to a chemist.

          6. By Alexey Shiro on

            Again, I suggest sodium superoxede. Its much safer and easy to store than pure oxygen, and its very simple to release oxygen from it just by heating.

          7. By Justin on

            How much chemistry would you need to know in order to figure out either one? Just remember, all they’ve got are 40s-era machinists and an armchair professor.

          8. By Matt on

            Alexei may be on to something there, Sodium superoxide seems easy enough to make, you oxygenate a solution of sodium in ammonia.

    3. By Steve Moore on

      Kurokawa had air-dropped torps. Don’t think he had a plane capable of carrying a Type 93, even if he had made them. Only mention has been on Hidioame against the Myiaki Maru; if there were two left in their quad mount then the Union’s got them. I believe there was a comment about picking up one of Kurokawa’s torps after the battle (it was a floater) and remarking that it was half the size of the Union torpedoes (maybe DD or BITW?)

      Reply
      1. By Steve Moore on

        Washing dishes after dinner, my thoughts running to twin-engined torpedo bombers… seems to me Kurokawa would have had same difficulties with planes as Union had; no aluminum, low power output and low-octane gas. Using wing-borne radials would have resulted in a slow, fragile airplane with a limited load. I can’t think of a single IJN carrier-borne plane that wasn’t one-engined. Even the USN started the war with SBD’s, Devastators and Vindicators. The Air Corps had A-24 Banshees (SBDs) and Vultee A-31s even the French and Brits didn’t want. So a twin-engine job seems kind of strange to me. Lou made the comment in his push-pull P-2 that centerline thrust would have been a positive to increase cruising range.

        Which begs the question, Lou, could the Union build a triple-banked engine? Seems to me if you stuck that on top of a Buzzard you’d have a faster patrol bomber with an enclosed cockpit.

        Reply
        1. By Justin on

          Note that “slow and fragile” by WWII standards is still going to kick the crap out of the current Union air force. Specs say the Grik DP1M1s can do 180 mph, or just slightly faster than a Buzzard; personally, I think of them as fighter-sized Nells.

          Reply
        2. By William Curry on

          If my memory serves me right, the Beaufighter and Mosquito could both be used as torpedo carriers.

          Reply
        3. By Lou Schirmer on

          Most navies used single engine planes for all roles until the jet age & mostly radials at that. This was due to the space constraints of aircraft carriers. A single engine takes less space than two & radials are shorter than in-lines (for the same power). Land based (Army Air Corps, RAF etc.) military aircraft didn’t have the space problems & mostly went with twins. Kurokawa had to use twins because his engines were low power & a single probably wouldn’t have gotten a loaded TB off a flight deck. It probably cut down the number per carrier, but he had three of them, so it worked out. As far as low & slow, the British Swordfish was both & still got the job done, but that was a 600+ HP engine. The design I did for the Strakka was a twin, but with the bi-plane wings secured to the fuselage & engine fairings, is still pretty sturdy & with the current uprated radials, would have pretty decent performance even with a full sized torpedo.

          As far as a triple bank radial, they could probably do it, but it comes with some technical issues that may not make it worth their while. They’d need to beef up the crank to handle the extra torque across a longer shaft. Then comes the cooling situation. The third bank would be getting hot air from the front banks & would tend to over heat. They’d have to be careful with the cowling & ducting. Cooling problems were the main reason most radials topped out with two banks. If they wanted more power, they’d either build a bigger two row radial, or super charge &/or compound it. There were some 3 & 4 row radials built, but they were at the peak of engine tech for the late 40s & were overtaken by turbo props & jets. If I was them, I’d be using the experience gained with the current engines & designing & testing a larger next gen engine, which given their current tech level could be in the 800-900 HP class initially & more with simple super or turbo charging.

          Reply
          1. By Steve Moore on

            Thanks, Justin, Bill, Lou. I thought about front & back engines like your design but I didn’t think there would be ennough room for a bombload.

            Don’t think they could hang a torpedo on a P-40, although didn’t the Italians have a fighter that could carry a torpedo? And I kinda doubt they could build an airframe that would hold an Allison.

          2. By Justin on

            That’d be the G.55. And toward the end of the war, the Luftwaffe modified Fw 190s to do the same. Unfortunately, such a “torpedo fighter” would require at least 1,500hp.

            If Lou’s right about the next-gen 800-900hp engines, perhaps they could mount three of those on a bomber fuselage like the Italian SM-79.

          3. By Justin on

            Or they could just do two on a large fighter, like an XP-50 or XF5F. Not sure if it’d be torp-capable though…

          4. By Lou Schirmer on

            Yeah, a torpedo would be hard to fit under an in-line twin. Bombs could be fitted though either on centerline or wing hard points. My design & it’s centerline fin is more of a dedicated fighter, but you could put bombs under the wings. If you made a land based model & deleted the fin & arresting hook, you could fit a bomb on a centerline point. Most fighters of the time were not really supposed to be bombers. The fighter bomber concept came later in WW2 with the P-47s, P-38s, Hurricanes & others being modified for that role as air superiority was secured.

  43. By Matt on

    So driving home from work on Friday I was thinking about engines and how they could be improved. And it occurred to me that fuel quality and octane has been an issue for the Union for awhile. Polta paste has proven to be incredibly useful but one more use could be in making ethanol/gasoline blend fuel not unlike E85. E85 has a higher octane rating than “premium” pump gas ~93 AKI, 95-98 RON for Mathieu and Alexei. Which is around the rating that WW2 Avgas was at. Higher octane means higher compression, or when we get superchargers more boost and will give higher horsepower for the same displacement. Ethanol is, well ethanol and is what alcohol is made of. Polta is already fermented into a type of wine so why not distill the wine into a pure spirit and blend with gas?

    Reply
    1. By David DuBois on

      Alcohol is not used to raise the octane of fuel, you use Tetraethyllead “lead.” High octane (leaded) gas from back in the day (starting in the 1920s) was used to allow high compression engines to develop more horsepower without the knocking in the engine which was the tell tale sign of preignition in the engine. Alcohol is not used today to replace the lead and raise the octane for cars, but Tetraethyllead is still used in some aviation gasoline. Alcohol was introduced into gasoline in the 1970s to help reduce oil imports with a home grown (pardon the pun) product.

      Reply
      1. By William Curry on

        As a general rule Ethanol does raise the anti-knock rating of the gasoline, but doesn’t do it as well as TEL. Blending Ethanol in also reduces the energy content of the fuel so a gallon doesn’t go as far as a gallon of straight gasoline. That’s why your mileage is poorer using E85 or any other blend.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Also you have to modify the fuel system to handle the alcohol, as it tends to damage regular fuel pumps, lines & carbs. If I remember right, Mallory was thinking about using a methanol injection system for the P-40s because the gas they had too low an octane rating. A 50/50 methanol & water mix would be even better. Initially, in WW2, water injection was used to increase power for combat, but since it had a tendency to freeze at altitude, they added methanol to keep it liquid & discovered it increased power even more. Injecting it separately behind the carb would be a way to increase power for take offs, climbing & in combat without having to modify the regular fuel system.

          Reply
          1. By William Curry on

            If I remember correctly the Germans used water/methanol injection to allow them to increase the boost to get some of their recon aircraft to (for then) what were extreme altitude. My Uncle Bud (old A&P Line Chief) told me he and some other built and installed water/Methanol injection systems on Ford flat head V-8’s right after WW2 to allow them to install blowers on them to increase the power with out burning out the engines. He also said water injection was used on the B-52 engines to keep the exhaust gas temperature within limits during take off. He also said on a B-52 with a max take off weight on a hot day you prayed that the engines wouldn’t run out of water before the aircraft reached the end of the runway. Apparently a fully loaded B-52 on a hot day with low air density really was reluctant to leave the ground. I think that’s why they would take off with less than a full load of fuel and tank up in the sky.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            In war time situations they tended to load planes well over max weight, which they could do, IF they had a long enough runway & it wasn’t too hot. To a point, a longer runway would work. The point where it didn’t work was if there was not enough climb ability to clear obstacles after lift off. More than likely those B-52s were carrying more than they were supposed to, but with aerial refueling, they could get away with it.

          3. By donald johnson on

            Does anyone have any idea what is done to winterize gasoline. My gasoline mileage on that date jumped 2.5 MPG and has stayed up that way since then. This is for over 3600 miles. The previous 3600 miles was 31.9 MPG and jumped to 34.6 MPG. I got the car in 2015 and it always averaged 31.5 to 32.5 MPG per tank until November I did not notice this last winter. true that this only gives me 16 miles per tank but what is the cause.
            the only time the mileage ever changed previously was during a road trip to Taylor’s last august where on the freeway i was getting 44 MPG. It changed back to 32 MPG for the next 3500 miles.

          4. By William Curry on

            The vapor pressure of winter run gasoline is usually higher than summer run gasoline. Less heat to vaporize the gasoline in the winter. Winter run gasoline used in warm weather has a tendency to vapor lock the fuel system by vaporizing in the line. I had a Ford Taurus was was very prone to this. There are probably other adjustments they make between winter and summer, but I don’t know what those are. The petroleum industry expects fuel to be used up within 90 days of leaving the refinery. I had problems with this with fuel used for backup generator or backup fuel for boilers for when the natural gas supply is curtailed. We had to add stuff to the fuel to keep it from going bad in the tanks.

          5. By Matt on

            Will the Germans didn’t just use methanol injection for high altitude work, they used it in just about everything. 109s had MW50 injection for war emergency power settings. It would help get extra horses for when you needed it. I think they carried enough for a few minutes. IIRC many other fighters of the time had similar systems such as the spitfire and mustang.

            Going off of memory the way it was done is that there was a small metal wire placed at the top of the throttle which would limit you to 100% military power. The pilot could easily break this wire by forcing the throttle and that would activate the MW injection as well as on some models raise the rpm a few hundred revs. Pilots were instructed on the strict usage of it because if you kept the engine on that setting after the MW ran out you could damage and potentially seize the motor. Ground crews had to log when and for how long WEP was used because it was a major factor in engine life.

            There’s even a good chance the macchi-messers that fought at zanzibar had it installed if they used Daimler engines.

      2. By Matt on

        > you use Tetraethyllead “lead.” High octane (leaded) gas from back in the day

        That’s what they are doing now but it isn’t working out well. The P-40s have to run super rich with little ignition advance. They are easily loosing a few hundred horses there.

        >Alcohol is not used to raise the octane of fuel,

        You’re right, it isn’t however E85 has an effectively higher octane rating than premium pump gas. In the US premium is 93 octane which is comparable to high octane avgas from WW2. E85 is effectively 96 AKI although I’ve known people to tune their engines to run closer to a race gas 100 octane fuel map. It really depends on the ratio.

        >Blending Ethanol in also reduces the energy content of the fuel so a gallon doesn’t go as far as a gallon of straight gasoline.

        This is ethanol’s biggest weakness I think but depending on the aircraft and the kinds of roles it needs to fill that may not be so bad.

        Reply
        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          I don’t remember them using TEL in their fuel. I know they’re running rich as you said & definitely way down on power, but reduced range wouldn’t be their worst issue with adding ethanol to their fuel. Ethanol is corrosive (it eats many plastics, rubber, & even aluminum leaving a black sludge), attracts water & degrades quickly, leaving brown sludge. It also acts as a cleanser, which while sounding good, will actually clog carburetors, injector, fuel filters & lines with the cleaning residue. Methanol blends are currently banned in aircraft engines for those reasons. Modern auto engines are specifically designed to handle these problems & older cars need to be adapted to run ethanol blends. A separate water/methanol injection system built to handle these issues would be best for temporary power increases. Some of the sites I looked at:

          https://www.bing.com/search?q=fuel+system+problems+with+ethanol+in+gas&form=EDGEAR&qs=PF&cvid=3870f463f9ee494b99d5dc3271de1b78&cc=US&setlang=en-US

          Reply
          1. By Matt on

            Those can be worked around with redesigning fuel pumps and lines. Not really a big deal, just a change in materials. The bigger question is whether any suitable materials are available.

            I do agree that water/methanol injection is a good idea. Only catch there is that it’s only truly beneficial with forced induction so we are back at the old discussion of how to invent the supercharger. I still think a fairly low pressure positive displacement compressor is easily within their grasp. Especially considering that similar type compressors would have been used in various other functions on Walker and her sisters compressors are used for more than just boosting engines after all and conceptually you only have a handful of designs so in the big picture a compressor is a compressor.

          2. By Matt on

            Hondas didn’t, until recently when they more or less had to in order to stay competitive. modern turbocharged engines are very efficient and can give the power of larger NA engines with better fuel economy and emissions. That’s why little turbo 4 bangers are so common now. Ford even put one in the Mustang.

      3. By Jeff on

        There are those who will tell you that cows won’t give milk and toads will rain from the skies if you use fuel with ethanol in it. A good friend goes over to the next county with jerry cans for his bike and lawn equipment. It’s a topic that has a lot of opinions. What I’ve discovered is that as long as I maintain my small engines there are no issues whatsoever. There are those who disagree and have horror stories to go along with their opinion, I’m just relating my own experience.

        Years ago I had a very high compression big block ’69 Chevelle and added lead to the fuel. You have to have hardened valve seats to run unleaded fuel and I think the lead was a lubricant not an octane boost. I’m no chemist. I used to have to jerry can 100 octane fuel home from the airport for that thing. I also put a methanol injector on it – and methyl is an octane boost right in the seat of your pants.Hoo boy! It also eats us rubber seals and gaskets quickly and unless you have a monster like that to inject it into, don’t. Special case and not all that safe really.

        Right now I run a ’69 vette with a high compression 350 in it. It’s been rebuilt and unleaded fuel is not a problem. In this area I only have access to fuel which is 10% ethanol. I run strictly 93 octane and agree that the E10 makes the actual octane rating less. I just rebuilt the old Holley carb and the kit comes with upgraded gasket material to handle the ethanol. I just advanced the timing a bit and she runs like a scalded …. Griklet …. I guess.

        Ethanol does reduce fuel economy, and in a service truck I had running E85 made the fuel economy truly poor.

        I think Courtney would be aware of the lead content and methyl alcohol. Silva would probably be more interested in the ethyl ….

        Reply
        1. By Jeff on

          Oh, and the same old mechanical fuel pump is still doing it’s thing.

          Reply
        2. By donald johnson on

          TEL lowers the octane and causes the fuel to burn at a lower temp. The higher temp caused by the unleaded fuel is what causes the valves to burn. Alcohol also causes a lower temp burn and water injection also cools the flame as well as boiling the water to increase the thrust/pressure.

          Reply
          1. By Jeff on

            Agreed. It was a water injector for an RV that I was using, except I bought 2 gal cans of methyl alcohol at a local supply house and filled a small reservoir under the hood with it.The intent was to raise octane and reduce temp. It was only necessary because of the extremely high compression ratio in use. Not stock. In hindsight probably dangerous but it worked.

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            Actually TEL raises the octane rating, allowing use of higher compression in an engine. Lower octane fuel ignites at lower temperatures &/or pressures, which is where you get “pinging” sounds when using lower than recommended octane gas, or the engine needs tuning. The air fuel charge is spontaneously igniting (exploding) when the temps & pressures get high enough, but before the spark plug fires. With ignition happening before the compression stroke finishes, you’re losing power & damaging the engine. Your lawn mower will run better with regular gas than it will with premium because of this, since it’s a low compression engine the higher octane fuel is harder to ignite & may not burn completely.
            The lead in TEL does act as sort of a lubricant, mostly for the exhaust valves. With unleaded fuel there is no coating on the valves & they tend to develop micro fractures from the high temp exhaust & begin to erode. That’s why older engines had to have hardened valve seats installed to run unleaded.
            Alcohol does act to raise the effective octane level as well as cool the intake charge. When using alcohol, you can advance the ignition timing, which will raise your HP levels a little on normally aspirated engine & considerably with forced induction. Adding water to the mix increases the chamber pressure on the ignition stroke. When the fuel burns, the water turns to steam & with restricted volume, the pressure goes up & it also tends to reduce overall combustion temps, helping to keep the engine from overheating.

    2. By donald j johnson on

      //Polta is already fermented into a type of wine so why not distill the wine into a pure spirit and blend with gas?//
      why waste the polta when so many other fermentable sources are available?

      Reply
    1. By Lou Schirmer on

      Looks like a sawed off 4″ gun & a 225 HP straight six would fit the bill nicely.

      Reply
      1. By Paul Smith on

        what would losing a couple of feet off the barrel do to the ballistics? how much muzzle velocity would the gun lose? Accuracy? wouldn’t you need a new compact recoil system? One with a reduced range of motion. I know I wouldn’t want that much steel flying back in an enclosed casemate! 4in/50cal is about 16 ft of barrel(4in X 50)/12=16.67 feet right? 4in/30cal is about 10 feet or 4in/25cal = 8.33 ft wich is much more manageable in a tank. less mass for recoil, but a lot less MV for the “big scary bullets.”

        Reply
          1. By Paul Smith on

            https://panzerworld.com/anti-tank-ammunition

            Yes, but HEAT rounds are less accurate at long ranges, because of the velocity, and AP rounds become less effective at longer ranges. Now, another thought, LOT came in 1936, I believe, and (assuming similar development timelines,) the best tanks the Union would face are, possibly, the French Char B1 or the German Panzer III or Panzer IV. I could find no reference to interwar Spanish tanks. Italy had only tankettes of the L3 series.

        1. By Lou Schirmer on

          Standard recoil should be between 3′-4′ for a 4″ gun. In a regular tank, that would be too much & they would have to redesign it. For what we’re thinking of, an essentially mobile artillery piece without a turret, there should be enough room for the recoil. The loader & gunner would be on either side of the piece & the driver forward of one of them. They could put a muzzle break on it to help compensate for the loss of barrel mass.
          Personally, I’d go with about a 30 cal barrel & yes that would effect the ballistics. Muzzle velocity would be down & the range would be shorter, but at tank engagement ranges (usually less than 1,500 yards, usually between 200-700 yards), it would be almost unnoticeable & still be very effective. Basically, point & shoot at under 1,000 yards.

          Reply
          1. By Paul Smith on

            I’d probably try to recreate a Hetzer. small & hard to hit, using a modified version of the 3″/23 caliber maybe stretch it to 30 caliber to boost mv. It seems like the tanks the union has would be best for something like this. For the humans, the original Hetzer was a bitch to move in, small, cramped. For the Lemurians, not so bad. although they need to make good mufflers for their engines, so they can hear themselves think!

          2. By Lou Schirmer on

            The Hetzer would be a good starter tank killer. I don’t know if they’ve gotten the 3″/23 in production, though I’m with you on going to 30 cal. Even with the tanks they have, they really need a muffler. The crews & engines would both operate better.

          3. By Justin on

            An E-10 sounds feasible, given a bit of R&D.

            Still, it seems like a bad idea to come up with yet another calibre to manufacture and train on when they’ve got one that works; with a 4-incher, the factory Cats can just pull a few naval guns off the line and rework them as tank guns.

          4. By donald j johnson on

            do you have any idea what would be involved in mounting a full length one on land. it would take at least 8 brontasauries in the team to move it. remember the ship mount weights in at 25 tonnes

          5. By Steve Moore on

            Methinks before you crawl, you need to roll. Shouldn’t trucks and prime movers for artillery & AT guns come first? And maybe some earthmoving equipment? After all, the Union isn’t going to the offensive against the LOT, only the Griks and Doms. And after the war, Austraal will be a good market for mechanized farming equipment.

          6. By Lou Schirmer on

            //remember the ship mount weights in at 25 tonnes//

            Where did you see that? All my sources say between 2.7 & 3.1 tons.

          7. By Justin on

            They’re already crawling – two “tanks” with more coming soon, but no trucks or jeeps in sight.

            Besides, tracks (usually) do better than wheels in bad terrain. If anything, they’ll be working on Bren carriers.

          8. By Generalstarwars333 on

            bren carriers would actually be great since you could put a 4″ mortar in one for a self propelled mortar, and put a type 96 in one for something like that french tank destroyer with the 25mm AT gun in it. And of course you’d have the versions with a machine gun in them to be APCs.

          9. By Steve Moore on

            Where will they be engaged in mechanized warfare? African plains. Not a lot of rain.
            Who would they be fighting? An enemy with at least a two generation advantage in tank development, and a fleet of supply trucks.
            How fast would they go? As fast as brontosarries pulling the ammo and fuel limbers. unless they’re defending the rail lines. Recall what happened to French ‘infantry’ tanks in May 1940.
            At least develop something lke a Dodge 3/4 weapons carrier. Easy to load/off load, can go down narrow roads or paths, would be useful at St Francis, and could be exported to the NUS who probably already have a road system. That could pull a mounted Type 96, a pair of M2’s or a Derby with a short load of ammo.
            As has been suggested before, complexity is not always the best thing. Don’t fight the enemy on his strengths. At least the LOT doesn’t have Rommel’s experiences to reflect on.

          10. By Justin on

            Hetzer top speed: 42kph
            Universal Carrier top speed: 48kph
            Apatosaurus top speed: 30 kph
            Char B1 top speed: 21/28 kph (off/on-road)

            Keep in mind that the Grik Zambezi is likely rainforest, not savannah. Even if it isn’t, Central America is, and the Allies may take the fight to the Sahara later on; at last check, WWII trucks did not do well in sand, jungle, or anything rougher than grassland. Can’t use them in amphibious attacks (Zanzibar, etc) either.

            Nobody’s suggesting a rush for Tigers and Jagdpanthers just yet, merely a steady evolution of the “turtleshells” into proper all-terrain tank killers and light transports. Seems best for the Union to start anticipating the next surprise instead of just reacting once it slaps them in the face.

          11. By Paul Smith on

            I would recommend a 3″/30 but with a stretched cartridge to give more than 503mps MV. I know now is not the time to think of developmental work, but the Union now knows there’s bad guys out there better armed as they are. Now I believe the LoT spent some time “pacifying” the med. How much time/effort have they spent building the industries necessary to supporting a large scale war effort? not an awful lot, by some of the statements in DD. The main advantage the LoT has is it’s isolation from the grik/union war zone. Now with the grik & dom wars entering new phases, their isolation “shield” will start to fall apart. Especially if the Union heads north to the arabian peninsula.

          12. By Generalstarwars333 on

            The problem with the 3″30 and a stretched cartridge is that’ll play hell with the ballistics and the stretched cartridge will probably require a redesign of the breech and other stuff.

          13. By Lou Schirmer on

            Actually, the 3/”23 would be just fine as a starter tank cannon. They weigh between 600-750 lbs., depending on the model, which wouldn’t be hard to build a suitable chassis for with their current tech level. If you’re building a tank killer, you don’t even have to develop a turret. Ballistics, at standard tank ranges for it would be essentially, point & shoot. It would probably be good enough to handle the type of tank the LOT would likely have brought. For true ant-armor work, they would have to develop an armor piercing shell for it though, Walker probably only carried HE & AA rounds.

          14. By Generalstarwars333 on

            I have no problem with the 3″23, it’s just that I think extending the barrel to a 3″30 and lengthening the cartridge would play all kinds of hell with the ballistics and need a redesign of the breech and stuff.

          15. By Justin on

            If the gun nuts say it’s fine, then it probably is.

            Only problem I can see is that eventually the Union has to take the offensive… and a casemate TD is more apt for infantry support and tank busting than actual mobile warfare.
            Perhaps they could design a “light” chassis for an interim breakthrough tank (also scouts and transports), and a “heavy” chassis for the SPGs and the eventual Sherman analogue.

            Speaking of which, do the Americans know about their old world’s tank naming conventions? M1 Alden, M2 Rolak, M3 Tamatsu, M4 Queen Safir… got a nice ring to it.

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