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Thread: The USN - optimistic modelling?

  1. #11
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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by barkhauer View Post
    You're implying nationlism/patriotism affecting the outcomes of a simulation based on 2 tests under different conditions. You have no way of knowing if the US ships are horribly underpowered and you got lucky on the random number generator on the one match you tried.
    Er, I'm not "implying" anything, just "asking".

    This is why my original post was:

    "My question is whether there has been a bit of "star-spangled-bannerism" leading to unrealistic optimism about USN gunnery.

    Or, of course, whether my one test was just a freak result, or if I've been reading history through union-jack-tinted sources. "

    I'd have been quite happy to accept an explanation of "We analysed X, Y and Z and it turns out that the usual tale of US gunnery being initially inferior to RN was wrong." I'm not an expert on WWI BB gunnery, I seek merely for information. (However if you want to know anything about the RN FAA and CVs in WW2, try me...

    Of course, that's not what BH came back with...

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullethead View Post
    The bottom line is that, over the long haul, USN BB accuracy averages out between RN BBs and BCs. IOW, their shooting is pretty mediocre.

    However, as Saddletank said, the peculiarities of USN gunnery methods have a strong effect on any one run of a test shoot.
    Thanks BH, exactly what I needed to know and I appreciate how many hours of repeated testing would be needed to get this right!

    Now, hurry up and release SP2 so I can give you more of my money.

    And then get on with SP3, including all not-in-time and never-were designs up to and including G3 and N3. Now!!!

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    I donīt think USN BBīs would be able to fire effectively out at distances exceeding 8000m. Their 1918 issued gunnery doctrines (which on their own probably does not reflect the lessons learned from british input after attending to the GF) call for effective firing to be around 6000 yard and 9000 yard (=8225m) is the longest range mentioned anywhere in the document (the term used was "extreme range" for anything exceeding 9000 yard). This is of practical importance and associated with a general lack of training in long range firing. Terminology as different: The GF considered long range anything exceeding 12000 yard while the US considered with "long range" such ranges exceeding 6000 yard with 9000 yard beeing called "extreme" range.

    Thus, I am kind of sceptical with regard to hitting rates approaching anyhow even the level of the british BCīs at long range (say, 14000m) while fire would be very deadly at close range - even if I take Hoodīs BCīs performance at Jutland for a reference, they were shooting well and rapidly at ranges generally exceeding USN period firecontroll doctrines. I doubt the USN would have done any better.
    Another problem faced by period US BBīs was inconsistency in dispersion patterns. In ww1 and even for some time after ww1, dispersion was not consistent and You could see one salvo falling with tight and close dispersions and the next scattered all over the area.
    It was not either large or close in a technical sense, it was inconsistent. And the problem was not solved until the mid 20īs.
    Last edited by delcyros; 01 Apr 11 at 08:45.

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by delcyros View Post
    I donīt think USN BBīs would be able to fire effectively out at distances exceeding 8000m.
    Seems like I've read such declarations about everyones (many nations) gunnery and expected ranges at some time, followed by actual battles at substantially longer ranges. I think we are definate what you want to believe territory.

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullethead View Post
    Our gunnery system doesn't claim to be 100% historically accurate because that's an impossible dream. It does, however, claim to be a close approximation on 2 different levels. First, under conditions similar to those of the actual battle, it generates generally similar overall results. Second, this is accomplished not by fixing each ship with a constant level of effectiveness, which has been pretty much a fixture of wargames since forever, but by allowing them all to vary over time as they did in real life. This was a difficult achievement of which we're rather proud.

    The result, we think, provides a more immersive gaming experience than a more determinative combat system. General expectations of combat results at the big picture level are fairly solid, but the details at lower levels are highly variable. Thus, combat entails a more realistic level of risk than with a more determinative system of game mechanics.
    Yup; I agree that the game system is superb.

    The area that I have a problem is the actual usefulness of the historical data that is available to work with. Clearly this is not a problem that SES can do anything about. There is an interesting post on another thread about the difficulties in simulating crew quality in the RJW and the why Distant Guns does not crew the 2nd and 3rd Pacific Squadrons with Reservists; good point well made.

    If we look at the data for gunnery accuracy presented by Campbell, this contrasts Battleship gunnery with that of Battlecruisers; why? As the two types of ship operate the same fire control systems and are equipped with the same guns, I would not expect there to be any difference in accuracy due to ship type; this is unless say increased funnel smoke was an issue and this would affect all Battlecruisers and presumably any ships firing at Battlecruisers. Thus it would only be an issue if a decision was taken to systematically crew one type of ship with better or worse quality crews.

    If we take the example of German ships only (to eliminate any difference in the fire control systems) Battleships have a figure of 3.0% for gunnery accuracy as against Battlecruisers 3.9%; the Battlecruiser figure would drop to 3.3% if data is included from Dogger Bank. This includes variables for range, visibility e.t.c.

    Contrast this with data for 11” armed German ships (excluding pre-dreads) 2.8% with 12” armed types at 3.4%. This would suggest that the 11” gun armed ships should be downgraded against 12”; I can think of no reason for this unless the newer ships (which did most of the shooting) had better crews. Alternatively, it could just represent statistical deviation.

    Also contrast Seydlitz with Moltke; these are about as similar as you are going to get and fighting under almost identical conditions. The gunnery of Seydlitz was inferior in both Jutland and Dogger and the aggregate figures are Seydlitz 2.4% as against Moltke 3.3% (and this is measured for 635 and 766 rounds – more than many squadrons fired at Jutland). This would either suggest that the variability in shooting ability between individual ships was the most significant factor or that the statistical deviation makes the data irrelevant for the sample size.

    As most ships in the Jutland campaign fired very few rounds or did not fire at all, it would be pure guesswork to try to produce shooting data for each individual ship
    Last edited by martin worsey; 01 Apr 11 at 10:46.

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slider6 View Post
    Seems like I've read such declarations about everyones (many nations) gunnery and expected ranges at some time, followed by actual battles at substantially longer ranges. I think we are definate what you want to believe territory.
    The point of departure is reference material. We do have primary source evidence that the GF considered long range effective firing possible by 1907 latest with numerous trials carried out to improve gunnery at distances around 10000 yard and more (sometimes substantially more), equally, from 1912/13 onwards, we do have evidence from the german summer maneuvers (isolated long range trials wwere carried out earlier but unsystematic) conducting practice shooting at ranges generally exceeding 10000m, too.
    No such evidence from regular or systematic long range practice shoots under realistic conditions comes from the USN side and thatīs the point I was trying to outline. This is directly mirrored by official USN period gunnery doctrines. This casts the question as to how the USN can be expected to be better than the UK BCF, which possessed a degree of regular training in long range actions. ...and -if You want to include anecdotical evidence, this issue indeed surfaced by the initial performance of USN forces in joint trials with the GF carrying out long range firing trials in 1918.

    I do fully agree that following battles experience may show longer ranges to become feasable, which is- what in the end happened.

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by delcyros View Post
    The point of departure is reference material. We do have primary source evidence that the GF considered long range effective firing possible by 1907 latest with numerous trials carried out to improve gunnery at distances around 10000 yard and more (sometimes substantially more), equally, from 1912/13 onwards, we do have evidence from the german summer maneuvers (isolated long range trials wwere carried out earlier but unsystematic) conducting practice shooting at ranges generally exceeding 10000m, too.
    No such evidence from regular or systematic long range practice shoots under realistic conditions comes from the USN side and thatīs the point I was trying to outline. This is directly mirrored by official USN period gunnery doctrines. This casts the question as to how the USN can be expected to be better than the UK BCF, which possessed a degree of regular training in long range actions. ...and -if You want to include anecdotical evidence, this issue indeed surfaced by the initial performance of USN forces in joint trials with the GF carrying out long range firing trials in 1918.

    I do fully agree that following battles experience may show longer ranges to become feasable, which is- what in the end happened.
    I think, for 1916 at least, you over state the degree of experience the BCF had of recent long range shooting. The GF had a secure 10000yds gunnery range it could use any time it wanted. The BCF had no such range, and had to put to sea, risking Uboats and mines to get access to enough open ocean. Real actions were very limited, which is why Jutland caused such (additional) heart searching. The gunnery of the BCF was known to need improvement, which is why Hood was with the GF - he was shifted there to have secure practice conditions.

    The other likely factor influencing BCF gunnery was leadership. It is at least a realistic question as to the extent that Beatty set an atmosphere where speed of fire was (being polite) at least as important as accuracy. Of course, all things being equal, it is, however trading accuracy for speed it a bad idea.

    As for the US, I think they must have had the same experience that every Admiral since the RJW did... as soon as the first battleships saw the enemy, the gunnery drill book, policies and much else got smartly heaved overboard and everyone opened up at the highest range they could. The US would have had an advantage... they didn't start the experence in their first combat. I can imagine the converstions between gunnery officers as the USN arrived at Scapa... After they got past the 'its impossible.... oops no it isn't' moment, they would have joined the policy bonfire party'. They would have discovered drawbacks in their ships (as all navies did) but would have improved very quickly when given the example and assistance that would have been (I guess) freely available.
    I was born between the 59th anniversary of Tsushima and the 48th anniversary of Jutland, on the 533rd anniversary of the burning of Joan of Arc.

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Quote Originally Posted by HMSWarspite View Post
    The US would have had an advantage... they didn't start the experence in their first combat. I can imagine the converstions between gunnery officers as the USN arrived at Scapa... After they got past the 'its impossible.... oops no it isn't' moment, they would have joined the policy bonfire party'. They would have discovered drawbacks in their ships (as all navies did) but would have improved very quickly when given the example and assistance that would have been (I guess) freely available.
    The learning process was a 2-way street, too. Some US ideas rubbed off on the RN. The real pitty, however, is that the RN's daily booze ration didn't stick to the USN
    -Bullethead
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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    Indeed. In WW2, Pacific, it never ceases to amaze me how much the RN had to learn from the USN about operating an expeditionary fleet, despite having been a world naval power since forever.

    As a major off topic, one of the things that annoyed me about War in the Pacific was the one size fits all under way replenishment/fueling. It gave far too much capabilty to the RN, allowing (effectively) alongside refuel/replenishment, when in reality all we had for ages was trailing hose... People neglect the underlying factors that influenced that conflict.
    And dont get me on production systems, and 'I want to convert all my rifle factories to building jet engine powered Tiger II tanks'!

    One day, someone ought to design a game with a lot of the softer factors in it.

    In fact for Jutland 2, I would love to see an option where you dont point and click on any ship, you just have a signal book, and send signals to your AI captains. You can do it MP at present, but I dont have the time, and I am not sure there are that many sadists out there
    I was born between the 59th anniversary of Tsushima and the 48th anniversary of Jutland, on the 533rd anniversary of the burning of Joan of Arc.

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    Re: The USN - optimistic modelling?

    We used to play 18th century naval wargames with 1:1200 miniatures like that. Both sides had a signal book and we worked out our own flag codes using printed international maritime flag hoist graphics. Each sides' Admiral had a board about 2 feet square with a simplified image of a 3 masted SOL on it, and using card counters each of which had a single flag on, he would stick these with blu-tak to one of the three masts (hoists from the three masts meant different things), then stand this card at the side of the room. The players had to sit around the wargame table in the middle of the room and stare at the card (about 20 feet away - we used a hired village hall for our monthly games) to decipher the admiral's signals.

    To represent different seamanship skills, British Admirals could signal every turn, French every other turn and Spanish every turn in three.

    The squadron and ship commanders then issued orders to their ships in writing in response to the admirals messages.

    It was, without doubt, some of the most fun I've ever had in wargaming!

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