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 Post subject: Re: Volume I - Chapter I
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:56 pm 
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Poohbah wrote:
The fundamental error Germany made in both World Wars was in not understanding the viewpoint of the two biggest powers in the Atlantic Basin with respect to Europe.

In the wake of the Franco-Prussian War, the US and the UK were going to become closer partners, because they shared a common interest: neither was willing to allow one power to unify Europe's productive potential under its control.

Germany building a submarine fleet that could threaten a truly effective sea-denial campaign wouldn't just have gotten the United Kingdom committed to containing Germany, it might have gotten America to do so as well, perhaps arranging a "coalition of the willing" arrangement with the UK, if not an outright alliance.

I think you're probably giving all the governments involved too much credit. Hitler appears to have assumed that the British would just give up if thrown out of Europe. I can't even fathom what the Kaiser was thinking going into the war. (The General Staff assumed the war would be won on land, Tirpitz was empire-building, and the Kaiser was just not thinking at all.) And the US had an uneasy relationship with our status as a maritime power, and the interests that gave us.

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 Post subject: Re: Volume I - Chapter I
PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:43 pm 
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ByronC wrote:
Poohbah wrote:
The fundamental error Germany made in both World Wars was in not understanding the viewpoint of the two biggest powers in the Atlantic Basin with respect to Europe.

In the wake of the Franco-Prussian War, the US and the UK were going to become closer partners, because they shared a common interest: neither was willing to allow one power to unify Europe's productive potential under its control.

Germany building a submarine fleet that could threaten a truly effective sea-denial campaign wouldn't just have gotten the United Kingdom committed to containing Germany, it might have gotten America to do so as well, perhaps arranging a "coalition of the willing" arrangement with the UK, if not an outright alliance.

I think you're probably giving all the governments involved too much credit. Hitler appears to have assumed that the British would just give up if thrown out of Europe. I can't even fathom what the Kaiser was thinking going into the war. (The General Staff assumed the war would be won on land, Tirpitz was empire-building, and the Kaiser was just not thinking at all.) And the US had an uneasy relationship with our status as a maritime power, and the interests that gave us.


I'm not giving anyone any particular credit.

My point is that the Germans never really stopped to work out the likely second and third consequences of their moves--i.e., how would other players react, what moves become available after the other guys make their moves, and what happens after that?

The US may have had an uneasy relationship being as a maritime power, but that would change if it was obvious that the Germans were making a play aimed at being a major threat to commerce.

As Coolidge put it, "After all, the chief business of the American people is business."

The Germans were good tacticians, and the General Staff had a fine sense of operational art; but they never really grokked grand strategy.

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 Post subject: Volume I - Chapter II
PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Or, Convoy 101. An excellent rundown of the basics of convoy operations.

Some thoughts and opinions:
First, the Allies would have been well-served to have developed a force of relatively fast merchant ships for use in the Atlantic to outrun the U-boats. If you can maintain 15 knots, a U-boat would have had to surface to have a prayer of catching a ship. I notes that between the SL-7s and the Bob Hope-class LMSRs, today, the United States can outrun any diesel sub, and most nukes would have to make a ton of noise to catch up to them.

Second, Germany really didn't start to make effective attacks on convoys until after France fell. Germany was - and is today - quite contained by its lack of direct access to the Atlantic.

Third, the United Kingdom might have been well-served to have used its carriers to escort the convoys early on. Combined with relatively fast merchant ships, Germany's U-boats would have been greatly neutralized.

Fourth, Die Rudeltaktik seems to have been too effective for Germany's good. Submarines are lone predators. Operating in packs requires too much communication, either between the subs or with a central HQ.

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 Post subject: Volume I, Chapter III
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:49 am 
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Or, "How to Get Ready for a Major War."

While there was a strong push for isolationism in the early months of World War II that hindered preparation to a degree, the good news is that the United States was at least seeing to getting in a decent position, at least vis-a-vis Germany.

The securing of the Western hemisphere gave the United States the necessary breathing room. Everything from the "bases for destroyers" deal to the meeting held between American and British staff officers was crucial for America to be ready to hit the ground running once Germany did something to provoke the United States into the war.

The Two-Ocean Navy Act of 1940 was also important. Much of the World War II Navy's major ships came from this. Yet as we know, most of those did not see action until late 1943 to 1944. The fact that America waited so long meant that the financial savings at the time of not keeping a strong Navy were paid for in blood and treasure by American fighting personnel.

Those ships were far less complex than today's warships, and this makes the decline in the number of ships the United States Navy has today a matter of grave concern. We probably needed to build at least 32 Zumwalt-class destroyers, not three. The Navy should have also been building Alvaro de Bazan-class frigates to replace the Perry-class vessels (probably about 48 of them for ARGs). That should be done in addition to continuing the Burke-class construction.

Furthermore, the littoral combat ships as they stand right now are probably better suited for the Coast Guard. They don't have much more armament than Coast Guard cutters. From the get-go, the LCS should have at least had the ability to fire ESSM and Harpoons or other heavy anti-ship missiles. I still think that perhaps reviving the air-capable Spruance concept for littoral combat (replacing the ASROC launcher with a 64-cell Mk 41 VLS) would have been a better option, given that they'd have had three or four H-60 airframes on board.

Moving on from the Two-Ocean Navy Act, what is interesting is to note the concern held over Germany's scientific edge. While others on the board may be more knowledgeable on some of this, I think that the V-1, V-2, Me-262, etc. do point to a validation of the "Germany first" strategy on that basis. We lucked out in that Hitler didn't seem to grasp the importance of some of these developments. That said, Japan did come up with their own innovations in the war.

Finally, a bit of a note on Admiral King, the Atlantic Fleet commander at the time. Looking over the confidential memo that was reprinted in the book speaks volumes to a sharp mind - he certainly seemed to be right for the task of preparing for a war, and in some extent, it stands in marked contrast to the state of readiness in the Pacific and Philippines.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:43 pm 
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clancyphile wrote:
Or, "How to Get Ready for a Major War."

While there was a strong push for isolationism in the early months of World War II that hindered preparation to a degree, the good news is that the United States was at least seeing to getting in a decent position, at least vis-a-vis Germany.

The securing of the Western hemisphere gave the United States the necessary breathing room. Everything from the "bases for destroyers" deal to the meeting held between American and British staff officers was crucial for America to be ready to hit the ground running once Germany did something to provoke the United States into the war.

The Two-Ocean Navy Act of 1940 was also important. Much of the World War II Navy's major ships came from this. Yet as we know, most of those did not see action until late 1943 to 1944. The fact that America waited so long meant that the financial savings at the time of not keeping a strong Navy were paid for in blood and treasure by American fighting personnel.

Those ships were far less complex than today's warships, and this makes the decline in the number of ships the United States Navy has today a matter of grave concern. We probably needed to build at least 32 Zumwalt-class destroyers, not three. The Navy should have also been building Alvaro de Bazan-class frigates to replace the Perry-class vessels (probably about 48 of them for ARGs). That should be done in addition to continuing the Burke-class construction.

Furthermore, the littoral combat ships as they stand right now are probably better suited for the Coast Guard. They don't have much more armament than Coast Guard cutters. From the get-go, the LCS should have at least had the ability to fire ESSM and Harpoons or other heavy anti-ship missiles. I still think that perhaps reviving the air-capable Spruance concept for littoral combat (replacing the ASROC launcher with a 64-cell Mk 41 VLS) would have been a better option, given that they'd have had three or four H-60 airframes on board.

Moving on from the Two-Ocean Navy Act, what is interesting is to note the concern held over Germany's scientific edge. While others on the board may be more knowledgeable on some of this, I think that the V-1, V-2, Me-262, etc. do point to a validation of the "Germany first" strategy on that basis. We lucked out in that Hitler didn't seem to grasp the importance of some of these developments. That said, Japan did come up with their own innovations in the war.

Finally, a bit of a note on Admiral King, the Atlantic Fleet commander at the time. Looking over the confidential memo that was reprinted in the book speaks volumes to a sharp mind - he certainly seemed to be right for the task of preparing for a war, and in some extent, it stands in marked contrast to the state of readiness in the Pacific and Philippines.


They should've built 32 more Burkes, killed Zumwalt, and beaten the design team with canes. The LCS is a horrible match for the Coast Guard (that speed comes at the expense of seakeeping, and they need the seakeeping more). Air-capable Spruance was a really dumb idea to begin with and it has not aged well. You want littoral combat capability? Go with covert minelaying.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:41 am 
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So drop the speed requirement by 15 to 20 knots and what does that doe for the LCS? With my entire familiarity with the class(es) coming from stuff I've read here, I'm assuming you're able to switch out the power plant for a smaller version. This frees up space for bunkerage and bunks, yes? Or are there more important things that a cutter would want over a littoral combatant?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:49 am 
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Belushi TD wrote:
So drop the speed requirement by 15 to 20 knots and what does that doe for the LCS? With my entire familiarity with the class(es) coming from stuff I've read here, I'm assuming you're able to switch out the power plant for a smaller version. This frees up space for bunkerage and bunks, yes? Or are there more important things that a cutter would want over a littoral combatant?

Cut the speed to 25 - 28 knots and we can replace the gas turbine with diesels for starters. However, the hull is now the wrong design since it is optimized for much higher speeds. So we have tor edesign said hull. It gets worse from there. Essentially, its an entirely different ship.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
Belushi TD wrote:
So drop the speed requirement by 15 to 20 knots and what does that doe for the LCS? With my entire familiarity with the class(es) coming from stuff I've read here, I'm assuming you're able to switch out the power plant for a smaller version. This frees up space for bunkerage and bunks, yes? Or are there more important things that a cutter would want over a littoral combatant?

Cut the speed to 25 - 28 knots and we can replace the gas turbine with diesels for starters. However, the hull is now the wrong design since it is optimized for much higher speeds. So we have tor edesign said hull. It gets worse from there. Essentially, its an entirely different ship.


Fundamentally, how much of the LCS systems work could be applied to something based off of the NSC/Legend/Bertholf (ignoring the dollar signs dancing the the heads of HII management)?

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