glenn239 wrote: ↑
23 Dec 2019 20:56
ABDA is a good example of how four fleets could be thrown together and still operate with effectiveness. Not sure that getting gutted by Long Lance torpedoes at Java Sea was because of command issues - the USN managed to lose a few battles itself by way of this weapon. If the Italian and German fleets had undertaken combined operations, problems with command and training would no doubt be evident. But the two fleets were manned by well trained crews with decent equipment and doctrine, and the ABDA experience suggests they could have undertaken combat ops with some expectation of success.
Nope. ABDA is a good example of a jury-rigged command structure ending in misfortune. Unfortunately your characterization of Java Sea is as faulty as that of the Bat of St Malo engagements. Doorman's "fleet" was not gutted by Long Lance, 3 hit out of 152 fired in the course of seven hours. Between 1633 and 1652, 39 were launched at ranges from 13,000 to 15,000 yards. One hit Kortenaer
at 1713. Between 1748 and 1807, 92 more were fired at ranges from 6,500 to 18,500 yards, and all missed. Four were fired at 1933 at 16,000 yards and all missed. Between 2322-2323, 12 were launched at 14,000 yards. One hit De Ruyter
and one hit Java
was disabled at 1708 by a fluke 20.3cm hit from Nachi
was disabled and eventually sunk by two 12.7cm hits from Asagumo
at 1800. Finally, Jupiter
suffered an own goal sinking after hitting a Dutch mine.
Much of what happened was due to Doorman having ineffective control of his forces and his single-minded determination to attack the Japanese transports despite everything, not by some magical capability inherent to the Long Lance.
Geography is a fundamental, a pre-requisite to naval strategy. Without a central position in Spain the Axis fleets could neither unify nor operate in various theatres with the advantage of internal lines of communication. Conversely, with Gibraltar in British hands the British strategic problem was greatly simplified and the Western Med was opened to the Anglo-Americans for counter offensive operations. Hitler's decision not to take Gibraltar is consistent with just about everything in his treatment of the British; the problem would somehow take care of itself if he took no risks and did nothing in the West.
The "opening" was not taken advantage of for two and half years, so I am not clear just how Gibraltar was critical. It was important yes, but so was Malta and Alexandria and control of the Suez Canal even more so.
Commerce raiding as practised briefly by the German navy in 1940 was not going to win the war. Combined arms operations, (surface, air, subsurface) was a different and considerably more serious matter because the principle of combined arms is that the combination in operations of unlike weapons systems is synergetic, producing an outcome more than the sum of the parts.
The German vessels were only useful as commerce raiders, while the Italian ones had no use as raiders and little more use in fleet actions in the Med, which is what they were intended and designed for. Throwing together mismatched vessels does not create a "fleet" in the tactical, operational, and strategic sense.
Thanks for the info estimate on the LST's.
Sure, Happy Christmas!