Admiral Phillips finest hour

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Juha Tompuri
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Juha Tompuri » 21 Jan 2011 22:46

Takao wrote: The fighter will be forced to stay high, as diving below the target will put him into the drink. Also, by staying high, he lacks the room to bleed off all of his excess speed built up during the dive, thus if he can still attack the second bomber in line, it will probably be only a brief shot before the fighter overshoots the second bomber. Still, the fighter could pull up into a reversal and attempt to re-engage or if his speed is to high, go into some variation of a scissors maneuver.
A lot depends on the probable height difference, but still I think that there is no need for a power-dive in the attack against the enemy (torpedo)bombers and so avoiding overshooting the enemy formation.
Baltasar wrote:I'd imagine that low flying torpedo bombers would be spotted in radar a lot later than level bombers.
Probably later, depending on their flying height before decending to the 30-50m attack height.

Regards, Juha

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 22 Jan 2011 00:29

Juha Tompuri wrote:A lot depends on the probable height difference, but still I think that there is no need for a power-dive in the attack against the enemy (torpedo)bombers and so avoiding overshooting the enemy formation.
Given that the British were not expecting torpedo planes out that far, the fighters will probably still be up high to engage any horizontal bombers. So, the height difference will probably be considerable, given what we have found so far 5,000-8,000 feet.

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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Oct 2019 02:44

Ten months later the IJN cruiser group got the described % of hits, on the enemy destroyer screen. The Washington & S Dakota went unscathed by torpedoes.

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 17 Oct 2019 20:25

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
17 Oct 2019 02:44
Ten months later the IJN cruiser group got the described % of hits, on the enemy destroyer screen. The Washington & S Dakota went unscathed by torpedoes.
Not quite, the Takao & Atago went 0 for 8 against Washington. The torpedoes that hit the US destroyers were not from Takao & Atago, but from the lead Japanese destroyers, which had misidentified them as cruisers. The SoDak and Washington were not seen by the Japanese van at this time.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Oct 2019 03:44

Takao wrote:
18 Jan 2011 07:58
Markus Becker wrote:Why not also use the Blenheim IF?
Baltasar wrote:Did the British have the 'fighter' version of the Bristol Blenheim available down there?
Yes, there was the RAF 27 Squadron with 10-12(depending on source) Bristol Blenheim Mk 1f's stationed at Sungai Petani, but that is up on the west coast near the Thai border, that's a good 250-300 miles away.

As to the question of providing a "continuous" CAP over the fleet, with only 1 squadron(453 squadron), there would likely be too few aircraft over the fleet at any given time. Even, as Tim Smith wrote, 2 squadrons would be hard put to provide a "continuous" CAP over the fleet. I also disagree with Carl Schwamberger's comparison to the USS Lexington action, CAP operating from a carrier is far different than relying on land-based air cover. For instance, look at what the British set aside for their air cover for the POW and Repulse, 11 fighters. Then look at what the Germans used for their "Operation Cerberus" aka "The Channel Dash", some 250 fighters. I don't think the British had that many fighters in all of Malaysia.
More to the point, a continuous CAP of say, 4 fighters (being generous) at a time is nearly worthless. As the USN found out at Coral Sea the typical 6 to 8 a carrier had up for CAP was woefully insufficient. As the war went on USN CAP grew from those numbers into the 20's and 30's or more.
Another issue that the RAF would have is their pilots would be unable to effectively talk to the ships. This means that the ships couldn't use radar to assist the CAP who would have to do their own spotting. That, in turn, means the CAP is likely to intercept well under 20 miles out from the ships and in turn this means the attackers will get through and strike the ships.

This would also mean that there's a good chance the RAF pilots don't even find the ships right off navigation of the period being what it was and most of the pilots available having low hours and little navigation experience.

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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by aghart » 06 Nov 2019 22:59

mescal wrote:
29 Dec 2010 13:16
Interesting scenario.



On the British side, I do not see Phillips retiring at the first sight of the enemy. He will thus either attempt to fight or keep on his initial mission. But even if he attempt to fight, Kurita still can disengage.
Thus Force Z will most probably continue with the initial mission, with perhaps attempt to engage the enemy CA if able.

The mission was to sink the transports, but Phillips knew that he had to achieve suprise to be able to do that. With suprise lost, the mission was finished. There is no way he would have simply retired when contact with Japanese warships was made. I believe he would have sought a battle with what ever was in front of him, then retire to Singapore. Whether he would have been able to get back to Singapore without being sunk by aircraft (or any pursuing Japanese surface ships, if Force Z had suffered serious damage) is another matter

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by T. A. Gardner » 18 Nov 2019 00:12

It just gets worse. When Phillips' fleet was about 100 NM out of Singapore, the RAF sent him an urgent message that "Fighter protection on Wednesday tenth will not repeat not be possible." So, Phillips' knew that he would be without air cover. The only plane sent out to support him that day was a single PBY Catalina for reconnaissance.

Had he decided that the risk of losing his ships to air attack was too great at that point they might have been saved to be useful elsewhere (say joining ABDA Flot). I suspect he simply shrugged and carried on hoping his own ship's AA defenses would be sufficient if and when it came to that.

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Takao
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Re: Admiral Phillips finest hour

Post by Takao » 18 Nov 2019 02:49

T. A. Gardner wrote:
18 Nov 2019 00:12
It just gets worse. When Phillips' fleet was about 100 NM out of Singapore, the RAF sent him an urgent message that "Fighter protection on Wednesday tenth will not repeat not be possible." So, Phillips' knew that he would be without air cover. The only plane sent out to support him that day was a single PBY Catalina for reconnaissance.

Had he decided that the risk of losing his ships to air attack was too great at that point they might have been saved to be useful elsewhere (say joining ABDA Flot). I suspect he simply shrugged and carried on hoping his own ship's AA defenses would be sufficient if and when it came to that.
Well, it didn't just get worse, it had been worse since she left Singapore...As PoW was exiting Johore Strait, a signal was blinkered to her from Changi fortress, "Regret fighter protection impossible." And yes, Phillips, upon receiving the message from Changi fortress is reported to have shrugged his shoulders and said "Well, we must get on without it."

Churchill had been mulling over the idea of sending the two capital ships to the US West Coast, but it was late, and he decided to retire for the night, and make a decision in the morning. But, by then both would be sunk.

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