Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

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mescal
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Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by mescal » 19 Nov 2009 13:37

Hello,

I’ve been working recently on a systematic treatment of the hits received by the major warships during World War 2, and I’m now able to post some synthetic views.
The “hits” definition comes from the availability charts I did previously (for example here) : there is a hit counted for any case colored in Red, Yellow or Orange in those charts.

The set of ship considered is all fleet carriers, battleships, battlecruisers and cruisers of US Navy, Royal Navy (including RAN, RNZN), Kriegsmarine, Regia Marina and Imperial Japanese Navy. The French and Netherland navies are excluded (the French mainly because most of their losses were scuttling, the NL because they did not represent a statistically significant sample)
Note that the Escort carriers, auxiliary cruisers, monitor, coastal battleships… are not included. In US Navy parlance, the ships considered are the CV, CVL, BB, BC, CA, CL (and CB but they took no hit …).

This gives me 422 significant hits on major warships – including accidents like collisions, grounding … For each of those hits, I have data on the type of ship, the year and month, the nationality (but Australia and NZ appear as UK), the location , the enemy, the nature of the effect (sunk / damaged) and if damaged, the unavailable time generated. I also have the cause of the hits.
These causes are sometime a bit difficult to assess (a ship first hit by a sub, then by air bombs, then scuttled, for example). So in each case where there was a doubt, I tried to identify the main cause. Sometime, it’s impossible, hence the label “multiple” (for example, Hiei is in this case).
The “special” label denotes mainly raids on harbors by mini subs or divers (Tripitz, Valiant …). Kamikaze attacks are counted in “Air”. “shore” are coastal batteries.

I acknowledge that such categorization cannot be perfect, since there will always remain some special cases which will never perfectly fit the set of category, but what I intended to do here is to give some statistical ideas regarding the vulnerability of ships.
(A specific problem is the “accident” cause category : it seems that my data are not as complete as they should for the axis navies. I have only 4 Axis accidents registered vs. 36 Allied - which seems highly unlikely)

Here is the first example :
synth_cntry_cause_1.jpg
This table shows the hits by country and by cause : for example, ten Japanese ships were sunk by enemy warships, and 15 British ships were damaged by U-boats.


A second example :
med_dmg_1.jpg
This one shows the damage suffered in the Mediterranean Sea : both the number of damaging hits and the total of unavailability generated are shown. For example, enemy subs damaged 7 British ships and 3 Italian; and the USA only suffered one ship damaged in the Med – but it took 13 month to have her back in service.



I will progressively add different views of the database.
But if you want a given table, do not hesitate to ask for it.

Anyway, as usual, any comments are welcome.
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Olivier

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mescal
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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by mescal » 24 Nov 2009 15:22

Hello,


Some more data regarding the damage suffered by major warships.

Below is a table which shows the damage by cause and by type.
It shows both the number of hits (NbSunk + NbDamage) and, for the damaging hits, the sum of the unavailable time.
For example, the submarines sank 3 battleships, damaged six - and this six hits generated 47 months of unavailabilty (that is an average of 7.8 months per hit).
cause_type_hits.jpg

The second table shows in a similar way the damage by location and type.
loc_type_hits.jpg
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Tim Smith
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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by Tim Smith » 24 Nov 2009 16:00

Very impressive work!

I assume this is all spreadsheet based. Can the data be filtered by a specified date range (e.g. by month and year?)

The 1945 figures will obviously skew overall stats everything since both the German and Japanese fleets were very heavily pounded by air while sitting helplessly in port during that year.

IMO Germany was beaten (at least in a naval sense) by 28 February 1945, and Japan by 31 May 1945. The remaining 2-3 months of the naval war in both Europe and the Pacific were just mopping-up exercises as far as I'm concerned. So I'd rather exclude those months while examining the data for myself.

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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by mescal » 24 Nov 2009 23:26

Hello Tim,

I understand your point.
From memory (I'm on the wrong computer right now), the figures of damage/losses for Germany are not that high in the last months. The raids on Kiel or Kure destroyed more infrastructure than ships (and most ships of IJN and KM were already at the bottom by that time).

Moreover, IIRC, I already minimized this effect by considering that many ships still afloat but unserviceable were not part of my sample - for example the IJN ships rerated as "reserve ships" during the spring.

Anyway, I will soon post some tables with a breakdown by year/month.
Olivier

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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by mescal » 26 Nov 2009 09:15

Hello,

as promised, you'll find below the Axis ships hit in 1945, by month and by type.
Actually, the classification Sunk/Damage is a bit tricky here, because many Japanese ships that were hit could theoretically have been repaired, but there was no time or resources - so I have them generally in the 'Sunk' category.

Note also that, in my base, the German Panzerschiffe are in the Heavy Cruiser category.
1945_axis_losses.jpg

And here is a global overview of the losses by year and country :
breakdown_year_cntry.jpg
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Olivier

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Tim Smith
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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by Tim Smith » 26 Nov 2009 09:39

Excellent info, thanks mescal.

1941 was a very bad year for Britain in terms of naval losses!

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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by mescal » 27 Nov 2009 15:58

Tim Smith wrote: 1941 was a very bad year for Britain in terms of naval losses!
Yes, it's in this year that the two worst months of the war occured : 12 hits in May 1941 (Crete), 9 in December 1941 (Force Z, Force K, Raid on Alexandria). This partly explains the quick successes of the Japanese towards Singapore/Java in early 1942.



To go on with my tables, you'll find below two more.

The first one shows who inflicted damage on who.
The 'self' entry is my notation for the accidents.
hits_cntry_enemy.jpg

The second one shows the hits by type of ships and by cause :
hits_type_cause.jpg
More to follow ....
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Re: Major Warship hits : a statistical glimpse

Post by mescal » 11 Dec 2009 16:25

Still at it ....

Since no one has requested any precise view, I continue with my more or less random generation of synthetic views :D

Today, you'll find in the first table below a view of the average unavailable time generated by each cause, detailed by the type of ship at the receiving end (as well as the number of damaging hits).

So, and it is no surprise, the majority of hits have been made by aircraft - but the most damaging were submarines and mines. Quite normal, indeed. Letting air inside the hull is fundamentally less dangerous than letting water in.
hit_cause_avgdmg.jpg
The second table shows the efficiency of the Kamikaze who actually hit their target :
The average unavailable time is less than half of the overall average value. There is a slight bias because I do not count the repair months after august 1945, but it does not change the overall picture :

Kamikaze were bad at putting enemy big ships out of action for long.
This comes from two main reasons :
* underwater hits require longer repair than hits in the superstructure, and
* US repair organisation was remarkably efficient by 1944-45.
hits_kz_avgdmg.jpg

To be continued, ....
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