Keynes' Cruisers

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by fester, May 19, 2016.

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    fester Well-Known Member

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    December 4, 1941 2300 Singapore Time


    USS Houston led her compatriots into the bastion of British power in the Pacific. Two modern light cruisers, USS Boise and USS Norfolk had been shanghaied from the Pacific Fleet over the past month.

    Admiral Hart had stopped these ships and their four modern escorting destroyer from returning to Pearl Harbor after the last two convoys from San Francisco arrived. The older and smaller USS Marblehead took up the rear as she followed the clearly marked and swept channel to the inner harbor. A pair of tenders followed the cruisers and then four refurbished four-stackers entered the harbor last.

    These twelve combatants formed the core of the Asiatic Fleet's striking power and it would be a powerful force in a secondary theatre but against the full might of Japan, the four cruisers would be target practice without air cover. Instead of being a sacrificial pawn in the coming storm, Admiral Hart had the moral courage to order his prime units south to join with the British Force Z at Singapore so that if they were to die, they could die being useful.

    Refueling and provisioning commenced as soon as the heavy hawsers wrapped around the pier bits. This operation was speedy as the Asiatic Fleet had been cooperating and training with British forces for the past six months in Hong Kong, Brunei and the bastion of Singapore itself.
     
  2. Unknown Member

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    Well, at least Hart is being sensible about his fleet here.

    And the Striking Force might be in for a nasty shock at Pearl Harbor, especially if there are increased patrols ITTL...

    The Kido Butai air fleet might take a lot more casualties, and that'll dwindle the number of experienced pilots.

    Basically, here, the Japanese have to be lucky on every one of their offensives, and I don't see that happening in TTL's Pacific War...
     
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  3. r1ncewind Well-Known Member

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    OTL?
     
  4. RyderWest Spintop Isolated

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    So, we got a Northampton, a Brooklyn and a slightly modified St. Louis.

    What are the classes of the 4 destroyers that came with them?
     
  5. fester Well-Known Member

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    Patrols are going out to 200-225 miles instead of a strict 200. KB will get within range to launch unmolested.
     
  6. fester Well-Known Member

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    Let's call it 4 Sims class destroyers:
    Sims 414 Grau 1937
    Sims 415 Watkins 1937
    Sims 416 Wielde 1937
    Sims 417 Page 1937
     
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  7. RyderWest Spintop Isolated

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    Probably much better than the old flush decker Clemsons the Asiatic Fleet had. And those 5 inchers can shred....

    Also what were the 4 remodernised four stacker destroyers? Probably DesDiv59.
     
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  8. fester Well-Known Member

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    Yep DDDiv 59
     
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  9. Butchpfd Well-Known Member

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    They're Here. they're There.. They're Everywhere.. they're the Stooges!
     
  10. Logan2879 Logan2879

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    @fester to bad the french cruiser Lamotte-Picquet is still in Indochina and won't be use in this TL.
     
  11. Butchpfd Well-Known Member

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    Hart was always sensible with his fleet OTL, When he turned over Command to Adm Rockwell, and ABDA Naval to the Dutch, he had not lost a major surface combatant. He had preserved his ships and fleet Train, Fought battles and escorted convoys, with virtually no CAP.
     
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  12. Butchpfd Well-Known Member

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    For AA , total, on these three cruisers, 16 x 5"25 Cal, 8 x 5" 38 cal, 12 x 4 x 1.1" AA., @ 24 x 1 x.50 Cal HMG AA.
    Were the British Destroyers that came out with force Z armed with the normal 4 x 1 LA 4.7" and 1 x 1 4 "AA, 1 x 4 2lbr PomPom, and 2 x 4x.50 Vickers MG?
     
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  13. Oldbill Well-Known Member

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    Fester I think the 1.1" will work with the additional work up time in your TL. Not finished reading yet, but so far it seems to have been related to crew training, maintenance, and the one mechanical problem, recoil/counter recoil system spring tension. That's an easy fix IMO, with the additional time again, I think these will work. Having said that, the 40 L60 Bofors is still hands down the better gun, so it will still replace the 1.1".
     
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  14. fester Well-Known Member

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  15. merlin Well-Known Member

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    Nice looking speakers, I wonder what make?
     
  16. mudhead Little-Known Member

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    British 20mms only began to be fitted to vessels at about this time, so your figures are probably correct.

    http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_2cm-70_mk234.php
     
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    fester Well-Known Member

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    December 4, 1941 Rostov

    Carefully hoarded shells were fired. Two hundred guns and just as many mortars laid down a screen of explosives and smoke. A German infantry division was in the city, along with a Romanian brigade. The rest of the First Panzer Army had been getting hammered by the increasingly well supplied Southern Front. Each German tank crew was still better than a single Soviet tank although the gap had closed as combat was an extraordinary professor but a single tank against four opponents aptly handled could not expect too many positive results.

    Machine guns from a Romanian battalion started to chatter. The gunners could not see through the smoke. Instead, steady short bursts were fired blindly along pre-set zones. Most could never do any harm as there were no Soviet attacks coming down a given street, but a few buried themselves deep into the guts of men who were either too slow or just too unlucky. Death was a statistical application without glory and without justice, it just became a factor. Death through the smoke screens searched out the bold and the brave who had not yet learned the wisdom of veterans but it also knocked on the doors of the wise and cautious, just far less frequently.

    A dozen submachine guns roared as an assault column emerged from the smoke. Hand grenades followed the barrage of underpowered bullets that cleared the space. Soon the machine guns that were sweeping zones all along the front had to turn to immediate defense. As their ire slackened, the rest of the assault waves launched themselves forward through German artillery firing blindly.
     
  18. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    With more patrols and further out, the question is will anyone be in position to spot the air attack before it comes in to radar range of Hawaii. If so, again more time to get fighters airborne, AA manned ashore and on ships, watertight doors shut and steam being raised. For the larger vessels, I doubt there will be time to get steam up and clear the harbor even with a lucky sighting by a PBY out on patrol. The question is, with a less effective first wave, will any of the large units now spared and ready to go to sea be able to clear the channel and what will they do. IMHO the smart thing to do for those ships that can clear the channel before the second air raid warning goes off would be to run 180 degrees from the axis of the inbound attack. Charging out after a fleet of unknown composition without any air support is crazy, wait until the attack is over, see what assets you have, and then consider going after the enemy in a more organized fashion. The folks on the US side should realize that after this attack the Japanese are probably going to run away - if they are continuing to Hawaii for a follow on amphibious assault, then they will be coming to the US forces no need to go running around looking for them.

    Big thing is to make sure that nobody gets caught in such a way as to be vulnerable of being sunk in the channel at Pearl.
     
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  19. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    I have read an alternative history where the battleships did sortie out of Pearl Harbor and were sunk in deep water by the Japanese air force. While the lost of the ships was bad, the lost of the experienced crews was devastating to the USA war effort.
     
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  20. sloreck Grunt Bear

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    @stubear1012 The possibility of that happening depends on what they do when they get clear of Pearl. If they go after the Kido Butai and the carriers have significant strike capability left they can be hit with no air cover and suffer disastrous loss. OTOH if the ships that clear the harbor head south to reorganize the second wave won't spot them, and the Japanese can't go swanning about looking at random for whatever has sortied from pearl. Additionally if the sortied ships head soiuth along the Hawaiian chain they can get air cover. Charging at the Japanese with an ad hoc collection of ships, which may or not not have full magazines or fuel, with probably incomplete crews is not a smart move.
     
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