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Longest Ranged Naval Engagement?
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:24 pm    Post subject: Longest Ranged Naval Engagement? Reply with quote

I am interested in what may have been the longest range naval engagement during WWI or WWII. Sort of a gee wiz question. Coastal Artillery shoots count. Anything out beyond 30Km?

Thanks for any insights

Best Regards
JD
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Beatty



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Longest Ranged Naval Engagement? Reply with quote

jwduquette1 wrote:
I am interested in what may have been the longest range naval engagement during WWI or WWII. Sort of a gee wiz question. Coastal Artillery shoots count. Anything out beyond 30Km?

Thanks for any insights

Best Regards
JD


I’m coming into this a bit late but hopefully you’re still interested. There are a couple of long range engagements over 30Kyds.

The evening of the 24th of May (1941) Prince of Whales fired on Bismarck at a 30-33,000yds. 12 Salvos, one reported straddle by Norfolk but no hits.

Battle of Sumar (Oct. 1944) The Japanese “Center Force” opened fire on Taffy 3 at 31km, just under 34,000 yards. Its tough to discern the quality of this gunfire as official reports are somewhat conflicted. It appears that there were a couple of straddles but the overall accuracy didn’t improve until very short ranges were reached.

Action off Truk (February 1944). During this abortive engagement Iowa and New Jersey fired on the fleeing Nowaki (Destroyer) at ranges from 33,600 to 39,000 yards. 2 – 3 straddles were scored but no hits. Iowa’s first salvo, which was fired at a range of 35,700 yards straddled and is believed to be the longest range at which one ship straddled another ship with gunfire.

There might be some other events that I’m not recalling but off the top of my head those are the most prominent.

Brad Fischer
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jwduquette1



Joined: 20 Dec 2005
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope -- it's never too late. Most of these I had already tracked down. But thanks for your efforts.

One sometimes wonders if anyone else is dropping into this forum. It's a great era in naval history, but I suppose there isn't much to talk about -- eh? :)
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Adrian Dobb



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
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Location: Devon, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
One sometimes wonders if anyone else is dropping into this forum. It's a great era in naval history, but I suppose there isn't much to talk about -- eh? :)


I think so its just that it has gone a bit quiet at the moment. Some of the view counts for some of the earlier discussions still seem to be going up. Perhaps we need some meaty discussion point to get our teeth into. Apologies for being off topic.

From memory (and this may well be wrong) is the hit scored by the Warspite at Punto Stilo (Calabria) the longest ranged hit in a naval engagement?
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Beatty



Joined: 17 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adrian Dobb wrote:


I think so its just that it has gone a bit quiet at the moment. Some of the view counts for some of the earlier discussions still seem to be going up. Perhaps we need some meaty discussion point to get our teeth into. Apologies for being off topic.

From memory (and this may well be wrong) is the hit scored by the Warspite at Punto Stilo (Calabria) the longest ranged hit in a naval engagement?


Yes the credit is generally shared between Warspite and I believe Scharnhorst off Norway on HMS Glorious (June 8, 1940). This is often considered the be the upper limit for effective naval gunfire, a position which I don't agree with.

Brad
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for dragging this up nearly two months later, but what was the range with the Warspite and the Scharnhorst/Glorious shootings?
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Beatty



Joined: 17 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harley wrote:
Sorry for dragging this up nearly two months later, but what was the range with the Warspite and the Scharnhorst/Glorious shootings?


Both were about 26,500 yards or so.

Brad
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.

Would I be right in assuming that when you said you don't agree with it being the "upper limit", you mean that it could be higher?

Out of interest, does anybody know whether Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley was still captain of Warspite at the time of Punto Stilo? I have a gap between him in command at Narvik and when he commanded the RN Barracks at one of the manning ports in 1940.

Simon
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Beatty



Joined: 17 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harley wrote:
Thanks for that.

Would I be right in assuming that when you said you don't agree with it being the "upper limit", you mean that it could be higher?

Simon


Hi Simon,

Yes I believe that the figure doesn’t represent the upper practical limit for naval gunfire. That being said, I say that with numerous caveats with the big one being that I only really consider ‘extreme range’ fire to be effective against other battleships encumbered in a battle line. I also point out that most surface actions that contained battleships occurred early in the war when radar was in its infancy and thus these engagements aren’t really a good measure of what the late war Allied capabilities are.

Regards,
Brad
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Adrian Dobb



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crutchley

If you want to trust it Simon wikipedia has him being posted to Devonport after the Norwegian campaign.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Alexander_Charles_Crutchley

Wikipedia is correct - Cunningham 'A Sailor's Odyssey page 226 has the Warspite arriving in Alexandria on May 11th 1940. 'Captain Crutchley had left, having been relieved by Captain Douglas Fisher.' Cunningham transferred his flag aboard her.
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to admit it (I dislike Wikipedia now) but I pretty much wrote that article - so I trust me! I used a few sources for that, although the part about him commanding the barracks came from the Dictionary of National Biography, but gave no date.

I'll add the Cunningham reference - I think there's a copy in the University Library somewhere which I'll glance at.

Thanks for the info.
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Adrian Dobb



Joined: 13 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please accept my apology - if I'd known you had written the article I would have rated it trustworthy! Glad the Cunningham ref was useful.
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Harley



Joined: 23 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive another question, but at what ranges were coastal bombardments generally conducted - or was it very much mission-specific? I'm thinking of Warspite at Le Havre and Walcheren, and KGV bombarding Japan, but have no idea where to find the appropriate information.

Cheers,
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tone
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 478
Location: Boston

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harley wrote:
I hate to admit it (I dislike Wikipedia now) but I pretty much wrote that article - so I trust me!


That makes one of us! ;)

Next time you visit Boston, Simon, we will cash in the promise I got for a privileged tour of the Cassin Young.

Can you provide some details of the KGV bombardment of Japan? I'm not familiar with this history -- at all.

tone
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Beatty



Joined: 17 May 2005
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tone wrote:

Can you provide some details of the KGV bombardment of Japan? I'm not familiar with this history -- at all.

tone


If I may I can add some details from the American side:

HMS King George V accompanied TF 38 battleships to conduct gunnery strikes at Hitachi Miro on the night of July 17th. Those USN BBs included Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri (F), North Carolina and Alabama. The weather was less than desirable, rainy, high winds and low ceilings. I didn’t copy the actual reports but I did skim through all the American action reports when researching radar durability. What I have down in my notes is that the American ships fired 9-gun salvos at an average range of 30,000yds because of the poor weather (normally for gun strikes they fired 1 to 3-gun salvos). So I assume then that KGV fired from this distance as well but I don’t have many other details to add from the RN side, unfortunately.

Brad
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