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What If: Prince Of Wales And Repulse Are Not Sunk In December 1941

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#21 Nobu

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 1019 AM

I believe Churchill's plan was for the pair to attempt to cause as much fear to Japan in the south seas as Bismarck caused to Britain in the Atlantic. A navy can only be what it knows.

 

Given what Phillips had yet to learn about fighting Japanese airpower with surface ships, the outcome would eventually be the same. 


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#22 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 1029 AM

We had no real excuse, being the architects of Taranto.


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#23 Markus Becker

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Posted 21 April 2020 - 1030 AM

PoW would have been useful as an escort for the carrier task forces, Repulse not al all. She had 1920s vintage AA. Fuel wise I don't know what was available and when. Just that the situation improved.
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#24 alejandro_

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0113 AM

We had no real excuse, being the architects of Taranto.

 

This is covered in the book I mentioned at the start of the topic. At Taranto the ships were in a harbour and had no chance of maneouvering. Also, there was no intelligence on Japanase torpedo planes, and the Royal Navy assumed they would be similar to the Swordfish - slow biplane with far less range than Mitsubishi G3M/G4M. On top of that, Royal Navy had been able to fight off torpedo attacks by Italian aircraft in Mediterranean.

 

Everybody was surprised about the skill and training of Japanese aircraft in the attack. An interesting anecdote is that Stalin suggested that maybe they were German pilotos. According to one of his advisers Germany had transferred 1,500 pilots to Japan, which had also caused a reduction of air operations in the Eastern Front at that period.


Edited by alejandro_, 22 April 2020 - 0114 AM.

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#25 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0126 AM

Ah, so this is where the 'Germans bombed pearl harbor' meme came from. :P


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#26 alejandro_

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0715 AM

Ah, so this is where the 'Germans bombed pearl harbor' meme came from.

 

The Flat Earth Society does not agree though...

 

a34.jpg


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#27 Markus Becker

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0743 AM

I believe Churchill's plan was for the pair to attempt to cause as much fear to Japan in the south seas as Bismarck caused to Britain in the Atlantic. A navy can only be what it knows.
 
Given what Phillips had yet to learn about fighting Japanese airpower with surface ships, the outcome would eventually be the same. 


Afaik Force Z was intended as a show of force and Phillips thought he was out of range of torpedo bombers. And we also must not forget that the torpedo bombers job was greatly helped by the fact that PoW was the only ship with up to date AA. Repulse's was from the 20s, the DD only had self defence capability and a miminal one too.
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#28 Markus Becker

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0749 AM

On top of that, Royal Navy had been able to fight off torpedo attacks by Italian aircraft in Mediterranean.


Same goes for attacks by German dive and fighter bombers. Entire task forces were able to defend themselves.
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#29 Rick

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0906 AM

PoW would have been useful as an escort for the carrier task forces, Repulse not al all. She had 1920s vintage AA. Fuel wise I don't know what was available and when. Just that the situation improved.
.

I'd say your half-right. As you said, against the airplane not so much. Against surface ships they would have sufficed .


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#30 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0933 AM

 

Ah, so this is where the 'Germans bombed pearl harbor' meme came from.

 

The Flat Earth Society does not agree though...

 

a34.jpg

 

 

Thats brilliant. :D


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#31 Markus Becker

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 0958 AM

I'd say your half-right. As you said, against the airplane not so much.

North Carolina had better AA by the time she appeared in the SWPA but PoWs wasn't bad. Just not as good.

Though the best place for the two would have been the IO. Cover the SLOC towards Malaya, then guard against Japanese incursions and also be able to quickly transit to the Med.

Oh, wait. Some R(A)N ships participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Being fast one or both could have been there.

Edited by Markus Becker, 22 April 2020 - 1005 AM.

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#32 Ken Estes

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 1340 PM

Yes, but that referred to the older standard type BB with less efficient machinery and a top speed too low to be useful. PoW's combination of speed, triple A and modern machinery would have made her useful.

 

Nothing was yet known about the IJN twin engine bomber force, which had practiced torpedo attacks and high level bombing in peacetime training against the target battleship Settsu. Nor was anything known about the operational range of the Nells and Betties.

 

POW had serious flaws: the 5.25" DP gun problems were not solved until HMS Vanguard commissioned. Her anti-torpedo hull construction was designed to resist 450 lb warheads. The IJN type 91 aerial torpedo by then had a 518 lb warhead. A single torpedo hit left her fairly crippled and easy target for subsequent attacks.

 

It was not a fair fight at all.


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#33 Markus Becker

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 1852 PM

They should have know the range of Japanese twin engines bombers from the operations done in China for years but if one is entirely unaware that these planes can carry torpedoes and the crews are even trained for it...that is one hell of a surprise.

With regard to the torpedoes I think it was less their warheads or the PoWs TDS but where that one fish hit. The damage from the rotating propeller shaft seems to have been devastating. Power loss and he list took out a lot of her AA.
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#34 Yama

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 1933 PM

Recurrent theme with torpedo protection systems seems to have been that they worked less well in reality than in drawing board or test rigs.


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#35 Markus Becker

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Posted 22 April 2020 - 2001 PM

The USN actually looked at the damage done at PH and concluded the TDS would have worked as intended hadn't the warheads gotten bigger.
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#36 RETAC21

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 0249 AM

Recurrent theme with torpedo protection systems seems to have been that they worked less well in reality than in drawing board or test rigs.

 

I would beg to differ, most killing hits were outside of the protection, which doesn't mean the TDS offered 100% protection.


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