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Everything posted by Historynerd

  1. The Italians never achieved anything like the big convoys that crossed the Atlantic, either. For the thirty-nine months of the war (until September 1943), it was a continuous movement of small convoys (even one or two merchantmen, some with escort, some without). As a result, the Royal Navy, the RAF and the other Allied parties that came there had plenty of targets; and they took advantage of it, since some of the best British successes were achieved here (especially if we talk about submarines). However, despite this inefficiency (and other inefficiencies because of logistical issues, such as the low capacity of the Lybian harbours), the Italians managed to do rather well. Statistics show that the Regia Marina managed to get through to their destination (other than North Africa, also Albania and the Dodecanese islands) almost all that was sent, losing only 9.5% of all kinds of material and only 4% of the personnel. Too bad that what was sent was in any way insufficient to ensure a different outcome of the war, and especially of the North African campaign.
  2. Allow me to say that "accuracy" is not the same as "dispersion". The Model 1934 was not an inaccurate weapon, nor were the fire-control systems the cause of inaccuracy (they had issues, true, but they usually worked out good results); however, partly because of its high muzzle velocity (which, however, also caused the flatness of the shells' trajectory, therefore its excellent performance against vertical armor, and contributed to the fact that it retained speed rather well), and especially because of the excessive tolerances allowed in the acceptance of shells and propellant bags, in practice often the fire of the Littorio-class resulted very dispersed. To explain with the most basic terms, while the aim was good, and the enemy ships were straddled often, the shells tended to land in a wide area, which resulted in the number of shells on target being rather low. To put this in context, when the guns were tried in the firing range, the manufacturing companies were allowed to make the best shells they could, very even; the result was an acceptable degree of dispersion (since, let's not forget, patterns that are too tight can be as hurtful as the ones that are too wide, as it makes difficult to "find the range"). This, however, changed during wartime, and as a result the dispersion patterns became distinctly wider; however, such phenomenon tended to vary, as sometimes a better batch of shells and propellant made the patterns tighter. However, in any case you are right. In terms of sheer performance, the 40 cm Type 94 was pretty much in a league of its own, with only the 16-inch Mark 7 approaching it. To achieve similar results, the Italians should have moved on towards higher-caliber weapons. In fact, some do indeed speculate that guns with the caliber of 406 mm (such as the one proposed in some Ansaldo or OTO designs for the Soviet Union), built around the same philosophy as the Model 1934, but with the advantage of the previous experience, might have achieved something like that.
  3. I wish there were something made about the Italian convoys in the Mediterranean... but alas, when the Mediterranean is mentioned, it's mostly about the British and their Malta convoys. Too bad, since the convoys to Lybia and Tunisia were arguably where the Regia Marina really came through, and obtained its best successes, overall.
  4. I must acknowledge that damage cannot be matched, but the range can absolutely be matched by the gun I've pointed to; at an elevation of 45°, the 40 cm/45 Type 94 could throw its AP shell at a distance of 42'030 m, while at an elevation of 36° the Model 1934 could hurl hers at the distance of 42'800 m. As you said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so you are entitled to find the geometries bland. I cannot comment on the technical details, since it seems that you are more knowledgeable about them than I am. However, a resource I use fairly often, the website NavWeaps.com, and in the page of the gun it is mentioned the report of the USN Technical Mission to Japan, that talks about "an unduly large factor of safety had been allowed in the design of the turret machinery as a whole, resulting in a very heavy mount, the total revolving weight of one turret being 2,510 metric tons". Also, it says that this gun's construction meant that it was possible to reline it only by boring out the inner A tube, a process so costly and complicated that it was more convenient to outright replace the worn out gun, although the Yamato-class' brief service meant that there was no occasion to do so. Instead, the Model 1934 has been long criticized for its low barrel life, but for a battleship designed to operate close to home ports this was hardly a disadvantage; in fact, whenever the barrel was worn out it could be replaced in a day's work, easily enough. Anyway, you asked about "effectiveness in its duties"; while it's clear that the Model 1934's duties were different from those of the Type 94 (which was in another league), for the duties it was supposed to perform (get out of port, pound the heck out of enemy ships, then get back home) it would have been by all means adequate. What really bugged this gun was the wide tolerance admitted for the weight of shells and especially the propellant bags, which often resulted in a far too high dispersion. In the few instances in which more even batches were available, these guns shot well. So, in absolute terms you are right, bigger is in fact better; but in relative terms, considering how much effort went into the Type 94, and the respective needs of the two navies, it would've been (other than impossible) impractical and a waste for the Regia Marina to build such monstruous weapons for itself, while a more modest (but very respectable) design proved adequate. It's all relative.
  5. Well, these 15-inchers were not bad for their size; in fact, they were arguably the most powerful of their size ever produced. Theoretically they had a performance against vertical armor that came pretty close to that of the later and bigger 16.inch Mark 7 that armed the Iowa-class. Other than beauty, these babies pack a pretty nice punch.
  6. I see your 18.1-inches guns (I gotta be precise! ), and I raise you my 15-inch Model 1934 guns!
  7. To be honest, I gave up any pretense long ago. I opened each iteration of HoI knowing that I would see my old friend, the cruiser "Raimondo Montecuccolio", awaiting me. Ok, now I wont' say anything more. Back to VB!
  8. How about this? It must be some sort of propaganda video made during WWII; it mixes up several battles, I believe (at one point, we see the two Cavour-class battleships at Punta Stilo, but otherwise we see a lot of the Littorio-class battleships).
  9. I haven't seen the IJN tree. But let me say just one more thing, then I'll shut up for good: San Giorgio-class heavy cruiser after Zara-class. (If you wonder, the San Giorgio was an old armoured cruiser, built some twenty years before the Zara-class...)
  10. All due respect, but I see that the tree is rather mish-mashed together. The Caracciolo, as I pointed out, is listed as battlecruiser, although that may still work. The Capitani Romani are listed as light cruisers, although they were in the grey area between them and big destroyers (I tend to consider more like super destroyers, myself). IRL, the Impero (the fourth Littorio-class battleships) wouldn't have had anything that made her significantly better than her sisters. Besides, in the forums there is quite a bit of people who say that the developers did some pretty confusing things with Italy, and they are not happy with it.
  11. Saw it too; what about it? Interesting, though, that they consider the Caracciolo-class as a battlecruiser...
  12. Alright, I just wondered why the two cases should be treated differently; given that neither ship was actually completed and commissioned, I don't see why the Graf Zeppelin could be considered less of a paper-ship than the Aquila. Nothing more.
  13. Neither was Graf Zeppelin, as far as I know. So, paper doesn't beat paper, if you allow me the pun.
  14. Good. But I had kind of gathered that from her picture, and also by the description in the pledge, a "strong and scrappy heavy cruiser". How can anyone be strong while being drunk all the time? Unless it's strength of landing in jail everytime...
  15. Alright. However, let me comment that, by what I gather, the Aquila came closer to completion (ship-wise, as her aircraft complement was going to be a pain, I admit) than the Graf Zeppelin did (as the former performed static engine trials, and was preparing to perform full sea trials by October 1943). So, I don't quite see how the Aquila is that much paper-y than the Graf Zeppelin...
  16. If that's the case, I'd like to know if likewise there are any plans to implement the Aquila for the Regia Marina.
  17. Allow me to say that they took one event and built her around it. Sure, at Matapan her crew panicked, went overboard, climbed back again and went for the alcohol; but for the rest of her career she was a highly respectable flagship of a naval squadron (one of the highest operative commands of the Regia Marina).
  18. How about some Italian propaganda? Here's a cartoon about a certain Dr. Churkill... the name seems familiar, but I don't quite get it...
  19. I don't know, possibly. It seems they were not a stock of old torpedoes (as the Regia mARINA still had quite a bit of old 450 mm torpedoes), but were of the new type built for the Cagni-class submarine (a submarine cruiser that reverted to 450 mm torpedoes to stock more of them onboard, as those were seen as powerful enough to deal with merchantmen). Yet that's what it's said:
  20. As soon as we get a good pic of D'Aosta, I'll come knocking. (Also, you'll probably know that already, but be sure to use the right Regia Marina flag)
  21. Thanks for clarifying that. Although I wish to respectfully rest my case; they were a bit unconventional. The 16-inch Mark I guns that armed the Nelson-class were rather unsatisfactory weapons; built under a new concept (high muzzle velocity and a light shell) that turned out to be a mistake, their theoretical performance against armor ended up being only marginally better than that of the earlier 15-inch Mark I. On the mount side, the turrets gave a lot of issues before achieving some degree of reliability (although it's to be expected somewhat, as triple turrets are trickier than double ones, and it was the first time the RN used them).
  22. Whoa! I didn't expect to cause such a reaction. Not that doesn't please me, but I am a bit taken aback. I just wanted to point out that Italian submarines were many (the second submarine fleet in the world in 1940, behind the Soviet one) and they did their part. I am glad, though, if my intervention did make people curious about them. @Scootia After the Armistice, several Italian submarines were used as targets in mock ASW training for the US Navy. That's why the Laffey mentioned them. Finnish submarines would be cool, too. An interesting detail, though, is that they had a batch of Italian torpedoes bought either before or during the Winter War, but they found them unreliable. Which is kind of strange, because usually Italian torpedoes performed better, without all the issues that plagued the Mark 14 or the G7.
  23. Well, not the Italians' fault if there weren't any Yamato-class battleships or carriers on this side of the world, I'd say... Also, allow me to say that it's one thing to happen on the best target ever to offer itself to a submarine, and another to rack up tonnage day after day, month after month.
  24. Oh, so there are two mentioned Belles from the Regia Marina, and they are Lampo and Axum? Nice choices; the first is a good example of a destroyer that spent its career fighting to defend convoys. The second... well, it points to the best days of Italian submarines. Since in the Mediterranean, partly because of the lack of targets, but mostly because of a completely outdated and inefficient tactical doctrine, the submarines of the Regia Marina didn't have that much successes. Pretty much the only time that they were employed the right way was during Operation Pedestal; and the Axum made what is probably the best hit of the Regi Sommergibili, since with a salvo of four torpedoes she struck three targets (the cruisers HMS Cairo and HMS Nigeria, and the tanker Ohio), sinking the first and damaging the other two. All in all, not a bad day's work. And she ended up being lost during the co-belligerence period, while disembarking informers on the Greek coast. Looking forward to meet her! - Now, returning to the point. I still cast my vote for C2, D'Aosta.
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