Admiral Phillips finest hour

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Baltasar
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Baltasar » 06 Jan 2011 07:47

Fatboy Coxy wrote:
Takao wrote:Continuing...
The British radar was a fire control radar, and of very limited use as a search radar. This is evidenced by the fact that Chokai was not picked up by the Repulse's Type 284 set(if it was even in operation) even though she was well within range. So essentially both forces are steaming "blind". It may also call into question the effectiveness of the set in bad atmospherics, so the radar advantage of the british may, in fact, have been non-existant.
I'd guess that other than fire control, their radar or radars are almost useless, and you have to ask about the fire control element as well. But in 1943, in a snowstorm Royal Navy ships sank Scharnhorst using Radar to direct their guns. That would have been Type 284P, did the radar improve, is a ice cold storm different for radar than a tropical storm?

This is begining to look a bit bleak for Tom Thumb (Phillips) to me. Anyone got any British cheer?

Steve
Essentially, yes, each kind of weather is a different challenge for the operator. Detection devices of all sorts are affected by enviromental circumstances like humidity, temperature, air pressure, sea state etc. I'd assume that the earlier devices would be even more liable to such occurances.

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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Sunbury » 11 Jan 2011 03:20

Admiral Phillips prewar shared a London Flat with Bomber Harris while both were at the War Office. Harris commented often on Phillip's contempt of airpower. Whilst his ships were off swanning about, he had 453 Squadron RAAF (Buffaloes) allocated for his air protection. His ships were always within range of fighter escort cover but he waited for over an hour of air attacks before finally calling. They arrived to late.
Who discovered we could get milk from a cow? and come to think of it what did they think they were doing at the time? Billy Connolly

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 11 Jan 2011 03:55

I don't know if it was entirely Phillips contempt for airpower as the deciding factor. I have read some books that Phillips wanted to preserve radio silence during the voyage, which proved to be an insurmountable problem for establishing air cover.

Also, Phillips waited for longer than that, it was Captain Tennant of HMS Repulse that first called Singapore for help, not Phillips. Tennant's broadcast was also Singapore's first hearing of Force Z's actual location. AFAIK, Phillips later asked for destroyers and tugs, but never any air cover.

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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Sunbury » 11 Jan 2011 06:39

Martin Middlebrook's "Battleship" goes into some detail about Phillip's attitude to airpower. He was not alone in the RN with such beliefs, but Harris joked with him as his ship was sinking, he would be claiming he hit a mine, rather than admit an aircraft had done it. The aircraft were available, its just another small part of the incompetency that lost Singapore in the end.
Who discovered we could get milk from a cow? and come to think of it what did they think they were doing at the time? Billy Connolly

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Baltasar
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Baltasar » 11 Jan 2011 15:17

If I'm not mistaken, he wasn't the only one, neither in the navy nor in the RN for that matter, to think this way.

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Markus Becker
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Markus Becker » 11 Jan 2011 15:33

Sunbury wrote:Admiral Phillips prewar shared a London Flat with Bomber Harris while both were at the War Office. Harris commented often on Phillip's contempt of airpower. Whilst his ships were off swanning about, he had 453 Squadron RAAF (Buffaloes) allocated for his air protection. His ships were always within range of fighter escort cover but he waited for over an hour of air attacks before finally calling. They arrived to late.
Some else told me Adm. Phillips was right not to worry about enemy airpower as the capabilities of the IJN´s land based TB were not known at the time. IIRC RAF Beauforts would not have had the range for such an attack, so Phillips had good reasons to think he was under threat only from level bombers which posed no threat to warships at sea.

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Tim Smith
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Tim Smith » 11 Jan 2011 16:42

Markus Becker wrote:
Some else told me Adm. Phillips was right not to worry about enemy airpower as the capabilities of the IJN´s land based TB were not known at the time. IIRC RAF Beauforts would not have had the range for such an attack, so Phillips had good reasons to think he was under threat only from level bombers which posed no threat to warships at sea.
Maybe Adm. Phillips didn't know the G4M bomber was a torpedo bomber, since it hadn't been used in that role before?

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Markus Becker
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Markus Becker » 11 Jan 2011 17:50

Correct, here´s what the other guy told me:

"Failure of Intelligence. 1. Recognition of the tactical threat. Phillips was a staff officer, and had studied the war to date, particularly in the North Sea and Mediterranean. Adm. Phillips considered Kuantan too far away from Indochina for torpedo attacks to be launched (p. 108, description of the "Council of War" held aboard PoW by Phillips, recalled by Captain L. H. Bell in Tarrant's KGV Battleships book). Also, that level bombers would only be able to hit his ships if he were unlucky, and that level bombers would probably be Army planes not equipped with anti-shipping bombs (ibid.) And that fighters were the best defense against torpedo planes. (And he had requested fighter cover for the 10th.) Captain Bell recounts that Phillips stated that "no shore-based torpedo-bomber attack on ships at sea had been delivered at a greater range than 200 miles. As Singora was nearly 300 miles, and Kota Bharu 250 miles, form the nearest Japanese air bases, his ships would be operating outside the effective range of torpedo Bombers." This was based on German and Italian attacks on Mediterranean Fleets and convoys.(ibid) That the Japanese were using those same long-ranged level bombers as torpedo bombers was an unknown to the Allies. While I think his request for fighter trouble shows he at least suspected, or wanted insurance for torpedo bomber trouble on the 10th, Phillips was unaware in a factual sense. That was not his failure, it was a failure of Intelligence."

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 12 Jan 2011 03:14

Concur, that is what I have also read. The British had been estimating aircraft range based on their previous war experience against the Germans and Italians.

I'm also wondering about the intended air cover; if it was more to screen the fleet from Japanese reconnaissance aircraft than from any air attack on the fleet.

@ Tim Smith,
It wasn't just the G4M "Betty", but also the G3M "Nell" that could carry a torpedo. IIRC, it was the G3Ms that scored the first torpedo hits against the Prince of Wales.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Terry Duncan » 12 Jan 2011 22:13

I'm also wondering about the intended air cover; if it was more to screen the fleet from Japanese reconnaissance aircraft than from any air attack on the fleet.
From memory the number of planes available would not have been adequate to protect Force Z anyhow, and this became diminished further if there was a need to protect Singapore at the same time. This had been one of the objections from the Admiralty to the entire scheme. Were the available planes up to the task too could be open to question, as they were not the best performing planes of the war.

Without wanting to go off topic, with regards to my earlier comments on the Japanese 25mm AA gun, I would say I do not agree with the criticism from the Combined Fleet website and would look to NJM Campbell's Naval Weapons of WWII for a better assessment. The Combined Fleets points could all be applied to the 40mm Bofors mounts, a gun hardly considered poor, and whilst speed of elevation and clip feeding were not ideal they are hardly unique as many guns were also far from ideal whilst remaining servicable.

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Juha Tompuri » 12 Jan 2011 22:32

Terry Duncan wrote: Were the available planes up to the task too could be open to question, as they were not the best performing planes of the war.
Krhmmm....
There were planes enough in quality and also in quantity.
If only being understood to have being called up earlier enough.

Regards, Juha

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 12 Jan 2011 22:49

I agree with Juha, since the Japanese bombers were not escorted by fighters, any British escort fighters, even the Buffalo, would have the advantage against the Japanese bombers.

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 12 Jan 2011 23:04

Terry Duncan wrote:From memory the number of planes available would not have been adequate to protect Force Z anyhow, and this became diminished further if there was a need to protect Singapore at the same time. This had been one of the objections from the Admiralty to the entire scheme. Were the available planes up to the task too could be open to question, as they were not the best performing planes of the war.
Yes, only one squadron had been assigned to protect Force Z. However, there were, IIRC, 4 Brewster fighter squadrons doing nothing at Singapore at the time of the Japanese air attack. It would have been interesting if Phillips had placed a call for air support when the Repulse reported an aircraft shadowing the force at 0630 hrs. or immediately upon hearing that the destroyer Tenedos was under air attack around 1000hrs.

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Juha Tompuri » 12 Jan 2011 23:07

Takao wrote: even the Buffalo
Juha Tompuri wrote:Krhmmm....
Regards, Juha :wink:

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Juha Tompuri » 12 Jan 2011 23:20

Takao wrote: It would have been interesting if Phillips had placed a call for air support when the Repulse reported an aircraft shadowing the force at 0630 hrs.
Yes, what's the use of radio silence (if that was the reason for not orderding air support) after that?
Takao wrote:or immediately upon hearing that the destroyer Tenedos was under air attack around 1000hrs.
That incident should have made Phillips to react and called the pre planned air support.

Or at least at the moment the Force Z became under (got the warning via the radar) the Japanese first attack.

Regards, Juha

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