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Airbrush

The Yamato's Last Mission

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Here are a couple of interesting CGI Youtubes I found.  They are 10 minutes each.  Maybe any other enthusiasts of the history of WW2 would be interested.  They are produced by Japanese, so I think they tried to be accurate about their famous battleship.  Yamato is to the Japanese what the Alamo is the Americans, according to the producers of these youtubes.  When you watch the videos, notice that for quite a few minutes the 200+ US  warplanes swarmed the Yamato without attacking.  Why is that?  Then pay attention to the part where 3 Helldivers drop 2 bombs each (6 bombs) and they all land within a couple of seconds in the same general area.  At the end the Yamato capsizes and there is a giant explosion under water.

Yamato Youtube #3

Yamato Youtube #4

 

 

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The Grumman F6F Hellcat was the US navy's primary fighter in the second half of WW2, as the 9 superior ) Vought F4U Cutlass was a bi*ch to carrier land. Its primary ( designed for ) opponent was the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. Hellcats were active in the Pacific theater, from Tarawa, to the Marianas.
Being primarily a ( robust ) fighter, and not a dive bomber, I would imagine the strategy was for the other fighters to draw the Yamato's fire by 'swarming' it, and when the opportunity arose the Hellcats carrying bombs would make their run in

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Ships that were not defended by air cover, had slim chance to fight off 200 warplanes using only AA batteries.  So everybody involved, Americans and Japanese, knew what the outcome would be.  This was an Alamo unfolding.  So the US warplanes initially stayed out of reach of accurate AA fire to let them waste ammo.  Then the Hellcats and Corsairs could decimate the AA batteries to make the bomber and torpedo runs safer.  Just my guess.

"In just over 2 hours, Yamato, Yahagi, and 4 of the 8 destroyers had been sent to the bottom. The operation became a giant "turkey shoot" for the USN. Yamato herself absorbed a mind-boggling 22 torpedoes, and at least as many bombs, before she capsized and exploded, taking over 3000 of her crew of 3300 down with her. The total Japanese losses in the battle were 4000 men. The USN lost 12 planes and 10 pilots. The age of the battleship was over."

Edited by Airbrush

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The Yamato had considerable firepower.
And if the Japanese had air cover ( from a carrier ) it most certainly would not have been a 'turkey shoot'.

10 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

The age of the battleship was over.

Yet 85 years later, battleships are the backbone of most navies of the world.
And more and more countries are investing in carriers for 'force projection'.

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30 minutes ago, MigL said:

The Yamato had considerable firepower.
And if the Japanese had air cover ( from a carrier ) it most certainly would not have been a 'turkey shoot'.

Yet 85 years later, battleships are the backbone of most navies of the world.
And more and more countries are investing in carriers for 'force projection'.

Everyone still needs mobile airfields. I read recently that they will have to be further away from ground-launched anti-ship missiles now though. This is becoming an issue in the S. China sea.

Edited by StringJunky

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56 minutes ago, MigL said:

Yet 85 years later, battleships are the backbone of most navies of the world.

Battleships? No. Battleships were large gunned (12" +), heavily armoured vessels. Most navies field nothing larger than a frigate, though the modern frigate has a displacement more akin to a WWII destroyer, or even light cruiser. Armour is minimal or non-existent.

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By battleship I meant any fighting sea vessel that doesn't have its own air support.
Granted, not a technical definition.

32 minutes ago, Area54 said:

Armour is minimal or non-existent.

Defensive systems are much more capable these days, including stealth.
Armor is a 'last' line of defense. A modern frigate, like the French/Italian FREMM design ( being pushed for US Navy requirements ) is designed with radar defeating stealth features, long range radar and warning systems, surface to air missile defences and automated artillery systems.
In US service ( and most major navies ) they are also part of a carrier group, which provides air cover with F/A-18 super Hornets, F-35B and C, Rafales and Su-33 naval Flankers.

Nothing is getting close enough for armor to be needed, but there is some advanced materials.

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Yet 85 years later, battleships are the backbone of most navies of the world.

There is some truth in that (using your definition of a battleship, although this was actually set by the US - UK limitation following the naval arms race of earlier times) ,

anyone remember the Belgrano ?

Even back to ancient Mediterranean (and I believe ancient China) sea battles, there was a major difference between massive fleet engagements and those involving a single or handful of ships.

 

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

Granted, not a technical definition

That was exactly my point. Your other observations were pertinent and accurate. It seems a shame not to extend it this terminology. I would also re-emphasise that the majority of navies do not possess large warships. (A word you might favour over battleship.) Take a look through a recent edition of Janes - even a nation like Indonesia, with thousands of islands and a pivotal position between Indian and Pacific oceans and South China Sea has barely half a dozen frigates of 2,500 ton displacement, plus a plethora of smaller craft.

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But the US. the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, India, Thailand have aircraft carriers, capable of aircraft operations in theater.
( Brazil and Argentina's are virtually useless, and some other countries have helicopter capability)

Edited by MigL

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9 hours ago, MigL said:

But the US. the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, China, India, Thailand have aircraft carriers, capable of aircraft operations in theater.
( Brazil and Argentina's are virtually useless, and some other countries have helicopter capability)

Just shy of two hundred sovereign countries in the world and seven of them have aircraft carriers. The prosecution rests its case.

Note also that:

  • The two UK aircraft carriers are not yet operational and the government audit office has questioned whether they can be effective due to the lack of adequate support ships or a proper compliment of aircraft.
  • The Thai vessel, HTMS Chakri Naruebet, has the capability to deploy fixed wing aircraft, but has none.
  • The French have only a single carrier, which means they will be without one for as much as 20% of the time. Not a strategically desireable situation.
  • Ths Spanish, Juan Carlos I, is more of an amphibious assault vessel than an aircraft carrier - and one carrier does not provide 100% availability
  • India currently suffers the same problem - one carrier only, though this should be addressed if the long-delayed new build is actually commissioned next year.
  • The Russians have a single carrier that is currently non-operational and unlikley to be active again before the end of 2021

Which leaves us with two serious players: the Chinese, who currenly operate two with a third on the way and plans for two or three more; and the Americans who have twelve. Those dozen along with the host of protective cruisers, destroyers and frigates, the support vessels, the amphibious assault ships and landing docks and helicopter carriers, make the USA the only country capable of a serious projection of naval force anywhere on the planet.

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I think you have to distinguish between deep-water/blue-water navies, and coastal ones (aka brown-water and green-water). A navy not designed to go far from the coast has no need of a carrier.

And in that context, one must exclude land-locked countries from the count. I would expect that e.g. Uganda might have ships on Lake Victoria, but they would have no need of an aircraft carrier. Some land-locked countries would have just river boats. And many countries would have no navy at all.

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Aircraft carriers are definitely not a cheap undertaking.
I would point out though, that Italy, arguably only concerned with the shallow waters of the Mediterranean, had the Giuseppe Garibaldi flying AV-8B Harrier IIs since the middle 80s ( recently relegated to helicopter duties ), and has recently fielded its flagship, the Cavour, with F-35Bs, and expects to field the Trieste, also with F-35Bs, in a couple of years.

Keep in mind that many of the functions originally performed by naval surface craft are now performed by airborne assets ( as in the above mentioned Indonesian waters )
Search and rescue usually by helicopter ( the rescue part anyway ) while maritime patrol, smuggling control and anti-sub operations are usually performed by dedicated aircraft ( P-8, P-3, P-1, C295mpa, Nimrod, Atlantique II, ATR-42/72mpa, etc ) and increasingly by long loiter time UAVs ( as an example see the Piaggio P-1/2HH Hammerhead ).

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Here is a more heartbreaking angle.  If this don't bring you to tears, you ain't human.

 

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58 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

Here is a more heartbreaking angle.  If this don't bring you to tears, you ain't human.

That is a movie.
Artistic license and all that.

As for bringing me to tears, only Saving Private Ryan ever made me pretend I had something in my eye when watching with company.

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Aircraft carriers are definitely not a cheap undertaking.
I would point out though, that Italy, arguably only concerned with the shallow waters of the Mediterranean, had the Giuseppe Garibaldi flying AV-8B Harrier IIs since the middle 80s ( recently relegated to helicopter duties ), and has recently fielded its flagship, the Cavour, with F-35Bs, and expects to field the Trieste, also with F-35Bs, in a couple of years.

 

Italy is an interesting example. I don't know if they typically venture outside of the Mediterranean. It's big, but Italy is almost in the middle. Makes sense their carriers would be designed to support STOL and helicopters; anything with longer range could be launched from the mainland, if their concern is the Med.

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Italy usually conducts "open Seas' exercises with neighbouring Mediterranean countries ( the latest may have been Cyprus ).
Outside the Mediterranean it has conducted some exercises in the Middle East ( off the coast of Qatar with the Indian navy ), but it is usually part of a joint NATO group.

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45 minutes ago, MigL said:

Italy usually conducts "open Seas' exercises with neighbouring Mediterranean countries ( the latest may have been Cyprus ).
Outside the Mediterranean it has conducted some exercises in the Middle East ( off the coast of Qatar with the Indian navy ), but it is usually part of a joint NATO group.

Makes sense.

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Here is a major discrepancy between the number of torpedoes and bombs struck Yamato.  According to the Youtube:  

"In just over 2 hours, Yamato, Yahagi, and 4 of the 8 destroyers had been sent to the bottom. The operation became a giant "turkey shoot" for the USN. Yamato herself absorbed a mind-boggling 22 torpedoes, and at least as many bombs"

According to Wikipedia.org:

"From the first attack at 12:37 to the explosion at 14:23, Yamato was hit by at least 11 torpedoes and 6 bombs. There may have been two more torpedo and bomb hits, but this is not confirmed..."

When I read thru the Wiki story on the sinking of Yamato, I counted 13 torpedo hits and 9 bomb hits.

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

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Wait, a youtube video was inaccurate? Noooooooo!

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