Suggest the attention of all military history buffs another detective series «Battleship: Aviation against battleships.» Preceding the story of the death of the battleship «Yamato» has caused a huge amount of critical comments: readers have questioned the possibility of destruction of so large and well-protected ship limited by carrier-based aircraft. Certainly, it is worth recalling the main points of dispute:
The largest warship in history — the battleship fleet Pravitelskogo «Yamato» died in a fight with carrier-based aircraft of the 58th Operations Links U.S. Navy. In general, there is no hesitation and issues final suicide operation Ten-Go was a foregone conclusion in advance. Living in the country of the rising sun went to that unequal battle, guided by his old code Bushido — the way fighters.
Another thing is that against the Japanese fleet (battleship, cruiser and 8 destroyers) acted languid 5 and 4 light aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy. Nine carriers per 1 battleship! Ratio is impressive. Naturally, this is war, not a backyard brawl — discussion about honesty here is not the place, overpowered the one who has more power and resources. And yet, it throws a shadow on the carrier aviation — leaves, her ability to put it mildly, exaggerated?
A careful analysis of the following facts emerge: specifically in the attacks on the Japanese battleship took part 227 aircraft (of 280 cars were sent from their 53 not out at the target). Also worth noting is that a third of carrier-based aircraft were fighters, whose role in the operation was limited to faster mental pressure on the Japanese sailors — bullet 50 caliber present no hazard to half a meter of armor battleship. As a result, two weave all decked aircraft sank the Japanese squadron 2 hours — pilots did not even have to re-strike vorachivatsya.
In view of the foregoing, the following facts emerge:
1. Forces Yankees were obviously sverhizbytochny. Each carrier has sent just one squadron of four available. With all of this even 227 aircraft was more than enough for performing tasks.
2. Weave Two planes stormed not once, but several «waves», the most countless of which consisted of 150 machines.
3. Based on the criterion of the situation, the Yankees were in the stores, at least 12 hours of daylight. Japanese compound was found still NIGHT MODE, a distance of 300 miles from the carriers (550 km). Yankees slept fine, dense and had breakfast at exactly 10:00, they first went on deck planes take off. Already up to 2 hours a day or it was all over — «Yamato» went awry and prepared to breathe. Battleship exploded at 14:23.
Of course, the pilots was still supplies a lot of time — if necessary, they can refuel and repeat the attack.
4. During the raid on the «Yamato» Yankees loss amounted to 10 aircraft (four torpedo, three bombers, three fighters). Another 20 vehicles were damaged by anti-aircraft fire, but were able to return to their ships. I can not judge the severity of their injuries and the ability to repair frisky — imagine that they are all out of action. 30 out of 227. Fully adequate loss.
Summarizing these 4 pt, we can conclude that, purely on a theoretical level, to defeat frisky «Yamato» and his escort was pretty 2-carriers of the «Essex.» Indeed, at each «Essex» at that time was based around 100 carrier-based aircraft, summarized in four squadrons (two fighter, bomber and torpedo). In the tanks of the ship was 230,000 gallons of aviation fuel (more than 800 000 liters.) Filling system supply to the flight deck of 3750 liters. of fuel per minute. In bunkers carrier stored 625 tons of ammunition: thousands of bombs and missiles, torpedoes fifty, a million rounds of ammunition for aircraft machine guns.
USS «Essex» was equipped with 2 pneumatic catapult and 8 compressors: Technical pace of aircraft production reached 42 seconds — obviously in real criteria he was in a couple of times below. But that catchy: according to statistics, 60% of launches from the deck of the ship happened without the help of catapult — fighters and bombers of the war years have not needed help at the start. All this greatly simplified the trigger function and allow rapid raise in the air strike group.
In the last article (http://topwar.ru/20174-yaponskiy-varyag.html) I imagined that for the destruction of perfectly shielded target class «battleship» with a strong defense and an escort of 10-ka destroyers, will need to strike a group of 100 -120 airplanes — Battleship, likely will not sink in one sortie, but the number of aircraft, fuel and ammunition allowed two aircraft carriers repeatedly repeat stroke and death to reach the battleship. This statement has caused many readers distrust and a fair question: «How could it be? Battleship gunners shoot this a hundred aircraft, as a flock of bird flu, and repeat the raid will have nothing — materiel and pilots die in the first attack … «
Must admit, in the past few times I overestimated the required number of aircraft in the first «wave» — in fact, to attack squadron of battleships pretty group of 30-40 aircraft. It’s hard to believe, but during the second world war naval antiaircraft weapons were unable to repel even the number of such aircraft.
Now I will not carry out any complex calculations and make careless statements. I give an example of a real case — sea battle October 24, 1944. On the 38th day operatively connected shredded U.S. Navy squadron of Japanese battleships and cruisers languid. During the hours of naval combat deck aircraft was sunk the first ship of «Yamato» — superlinkor Pravitelskogo Navy land of the rising sun unique «Musashi».
Without going into many details of the Pacific theater and prerequisites of the Japanese fleet in the Sibuyan Sea (Philippines), once we note that the Japanese operation was doomed to failure — left without fighter cover, 2nd Fleet Admiral Takeo Kurita necessarily be met with South American aircraft carriers.
As part of the Japanese squadron were:
Superlinkory «Yamato» and «Musashi». Naikrupneyshim and powerful warships on the planet. Full displacement — 70 thousand tons (for comparison: the modern heavy nuclear missile cruiser «Peter the Great», the flagship of the Northern Fleet of the Russian Navy, has a total displacement of about 26 tons)!
Major caliber velikanskih ships — 460 mm. Instrument and mechanisms battleships were tightly protected dead metal — cutting thickness booking reached half a meter of armor steel tower head caliber — 650 mm! Impenetrable metal sheet width of 65 cm — can you imagine this?
LC type scheme «Yamato» in bolshennom resolution. Pay attention to the number of barrels of flak.
Antiaircraft gun superlinkorov — 12 paired units caliber 127 mm and 130 automatic anti-aircraft guns (34 single and 32 triple install caliber 25 mm). In addition, there was a medium-caliber guns 6 (150 mm) and 2 twin machine guns. *
* View LK «Musashi», October 1944
Who were able to resist these ships?
Battleship «Nagato». Metal monster, undefeated even nuclear explosion (nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll, 1946). 20 years before the events in the Sibuyan Sea, «Nagato» was the best battleship in the world, the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun first decided to establish a ship cannon caliber greater than 400 mm. «Nagato» received eight 410 mm guns, setting a new standard Head Calibre worldwide. In addition, the battleship armament included:
18 x 140 mm guns of medium caliber,
8 x 127 mm anti-aircraft guns,
98 barrels of antiaircraft machine guns.
Superstructure «Nagato» after a nuclear explosion. Bikini Atoll, 1946
As before, the undefeated «Nagato» inspired nightmare to his opponents. What harm could cause Bulletproof monster small fragile planes? Weave trunks flak tear to shreds at least some who dare poruha Aerial Japanese battleship. At least, so it seemed to the Japanese …
Many fascinating ships were in Japanese squadron: old, but as before the battleship battle-worthy «Harun» (not quite the correct expression — «Harun» at the moment nearly 30 years have passed, the usual age for many modern ships), languid cruiser «Tone» «Chikuma», «Myoko» … only 7 battleships, 11 cruisers and 23 destroyers!
Each Japanese cruiser carrying 100 barrels antiaircraft guns, the destroyer — more than 30. All this, in theory, should make it impassable wall of flak. Even despite the lagging Japanese design and antiaircraft artillery fire control systems, it would be reasonable to imagine that the number of units was necessarily move in quality. And yet, things took a dramatic turn much earlier than it might have been expected.
Enemy at the Japanese fleet was more severe. 38th U.S. Navy Operational compound (it is — Task Force 58). As already mentioned in the preceding article, Task Force 58 (in this case it was the index «38», but not the essence), despite a completely mundane title, was a most terrible squadron ever roam the world ocean. Two 10-ka aircraft carriers under the guise of fast battleships, cruisers and destroyers weave.
October 24, 1944 in the Sibuyan Sea were languishing carriers, «Essex», «Intrepid», «Franklin», «Lexington» and «Enterprise», and 5 light aircraft carrier «Independence», «Cabot», «Langley», «San Jacinto «and» Belleau Wood. «
Received a message on the approximation of the Japanese squadron, marine pilots of the U.S. Navy, usually, good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast, and at 9 am lifted into the air and their torpedo dive bombers.
Aircraft carrier «Intrepid» (CV-11)
1st attack. 12 bombers and 13 torpedo planes under cover of 19 fighters — from aircraft carriers «Intrepid» and «Cabot.» Japanese squadron met them an avalanche of fire, crazy pilots quickly took off torpedoes at the nearest target and lost three aircraft terrible hurry to leave the area quickly.
«The immediate goal» was superlinkor «Musashi» — he got aboard his first torpedo. Damage appeared small, the flow of water quickly tie under control. The second victim turned heavy cruiser «Myoko».
2nd attack. Half an hour later stormed the Japanese aircraft from aircraft carriers «Lexington» and «Essex». A total of 30 vehicles, according to Japanese. In the «Musashi» were two bombs and torpedoes. First bomb slammed into the forecastle, broke through the narrow 25 mm deck and hull of the battleship stitched through, flew out across the board. Second bomb pierced two decks and yanked with such force that burst from the mighty shake line in the boiler room.
Third attack. In effect entered carriers «Enterprise» and «Franklin» — 80 carrier-based aircraft struck a massive blow to the Japanese connection. Surprisingly, but despite the absence of any coordination, under the brunt again hit «Musashi» — he broke his nose torpedo.
At noon, lunch and tightly Yankees continued to beat the Japanese fleet. 4th in a row, the most effective and assertive attack had pilots from an aircraft carrier «Intrepid» — 14 fighters «Hellket», 12 dive bombers «Helldayver» and 9 torpedo «Avenger.» Battleship «Musashi» hit three torpedoes and four bombs languid — the superstructure of the ship turned into burning ruins, ammunition exploded antiaircraft machine guns. Been dumped a huge amount of space in the underwater part of the battleship, including compartment hydromachines speed «Musashi» fell to 16 knots — now the ship was doomed. Japanese order went too far forward, close to perishing «Musashi» remained only a heavy cruiser «Tone» and two destroyers.
Dive-bombers «Helldayver.» It looks like a hornet’s nest.
5th attack. Carriers «Essex» and «Lexington» sent 27 torpedo bombers and 15 fighters under the cover 16. This attack has passed «Yamato» — aircraft fired other battleships of the Japanese fleet. The raid was not so lucky — Part bombers carrying 227-kg bombs, ineffective against the ultra-secure floating fortresses. 5 warped planes barely lasted up to their own ships and landed on the water, destroyers escort crews lifted out of the water.
6th attack. The last attack on the day attack had pilots from aircraft carriers «Enterprise» and «Franklin». In sinking «Musashi» Hit 4 torpedoes and 10 bombs, just turning into ruins Pride Pravitelskogo fleet. By 7 pm the fore part of the battleship at one hundred percent fell into the water before the first tower came down all machinery spaces, shut off the electricity. The crew began to leave the ship. Half an hour later 70 thousand tons of burnt trash, who once was a battleship «Musashi», capsized and went under water. Day ended. For anybody successfully. For anybody not. With the slowly sinking battleship saved 1288 people, 991 more sailor died in the battle and had to be carried to the bottom of the housing of a large ship.
Just one day become victims of American attacks:
— superlinkor «Musashi» sank.
— superlinkor «Yamato» — two hits bombs, one of them led to the flooding of premises in the bow of the ship. «Yamato» received 2,000 tons of water, unable to straighten the slope decreased speed, combat capability is preserved.
— Battleship «Nagato», received severe damage. Explosions 2-bomb destroyed intake boiler department number 1 radio station has failed tower head and 4 medium caliber guns. Speed fell to 21 knots, there were large fires in the forecastle. Noteworthy that from time to time damage «Nagato» depict as «minor». Maybe so, but the death of 52 of the crew of the battleship casts doubt on this. For example, during the sinking of the destroyer «Sheffield» from unexploded missile (lover episode all skeptics security of modern ships) killed a total of 18 sailors. But this is the way.
— heavy cruiser «Myoko» torpedo hit. The flow of water was brought under control, tilt straightened kontrzatopleniem compartments reverse side.
— destroyer «Fujinami» — sank from near the air bombing.
— destroyer «Kiesimo» — a direct hit by bombs, destroyed all the mechanisms and a weapon in the middle of the destroyer.
— destroyer «Urakadze» — from close explosions broke density housing has failed communication.
These are the main results of the sea battle October 24, 1944. In the midst of military historians there is a perception that after many hours of continuous air attack Japanese squadron kept fighting capability, as Americans should not have gained the desired result. Can be be … That’s just what to do with the sinking of the 1st of 2-huge ship on the planet? In any case, for me it is an episode of the Pacific War is a purely technical enthusiasm — stormed the aircraft squadron of battleships in small groups and have gained for all that noticeable success.
P.S. On the subsequent morning, October 25, 1944, a squadron of Admiral Kurita had another challenge: trying to break through to the landing place of the South American landing in Leyte Gulf, residents of the country of the rising sun on the case ran six escort carriers — malehankih «pelvis», built by the standards of civilian shipbuilding. Children are so beat battleships that the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun had to abandon their plans. And fled samurai, under the pressure of steel and fire …
Oleg created Kaptsov