reporting on board

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Re: reporting on board

Postby asgaard aardvaark » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:36 pm

It wasn't all one sided, the USS Texas took two 11.1" (280mm) hits from a German shore battery while bombarding Cherbourg on June 25, 1944. One hit took out the forward fire control center (10 wounded, 1 dead), but control was shifted aft and she continued firing. The other hit was a dud that ended up in the wardroom. The cruiser HMS Glasgow and destroyers USS Barton, Laffey and O'brien were also hit, presumably by lighter guns, possably 9.4"(240mm). Glasgow was forced to temporarly retire after taking two heavy hits (no word on casualties). O'Brien took a hit to her bridge that resulted in 13 dead and 19 wounded. Barton was reported as "slightly damaged" with no casualties reported and I can't find any information on the damage to the Laffey.
However, the late Ian Hogg not withstanding, by WWII, the ships had the advantage. After all, the shore guns usually ranged from5.9"(150mm), 8" (203mm) up to 11.1" (280mm) and in very rare cases, 15" (380mm),in batteries of two to four, while the ships packed anything from 6"(9-15 each), 8" (8-10) up t0 16" (8-9). That is a decided superiority in numbers, along with two other factors--mainly that nearly all shore bombardments were undertaken under a condition of air supremecy that allowed spotter planes to adjust fire and the fact that ships could move, while shore batteries couldn't. Also, with power ramming and loading, the ships usually had a higher rate of fire ( although this may not have been entirely true--I once watched a film at Fort Stevens, of a 10" coatal gun on a Buffington-Crozier dissappearing mount firing at a target and used a stopwatch to time a 30 second firing cycle. All loading and ramming was done by hand--impressive).
As to the North Viet Namese battery that returned fire on the New Jersey, I am reminded of the old joke about the flea running up an elephant's leg with rape on its mind. ;)
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Re: reporting on board

Postby PaulGazis » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:16 am

I imagine that those forward observer aircraft were the key. Reports from the Dardanelles campaign suggest that in WWI, ships didn't have much of a clue where their shells were falling. In particular, once the target was obscured by smoke and dust, they had no way to tell if their fire was going long. This gave shore batteries a huge advantage, since it was impossible to sink a fort and the guns themselves were small targets, whereas ships were quite large and you got points for hitting any part of the vessel -- with bonus points for an engineering plant or magazine. Spotter aircraft would change this equation dramatically, and allow ships to use their longer range and heavier firepower to telling advantage.

This, of course, raises the question of what might happen if the shore batteries were prepared by masters of camouflage, such as the NVA. In an era before accurate radar-guided counter-battery fire, would this be enough to nullify the effect of spotting aircraft? And did the North Vietnamese do an adequate job of hiding its shore batteries or did they send all their artillery camouflage gurus down to the South? I'm sure some operations research team in the Pentagon has crunched all the numbers, but I have no idea what they might have found.

There is one clue. Long long ago, I came across translations of some Nixon-era comic books from North Vietnam that suggest the North Really Didn't Like American Destroyers. At All. This must mean something.
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Re: reporting on board

Postby Kona » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:25 am

PaulGazis wrote:Long long ago, I came across translations of some Nixon-era comic books from North Vietnam that suggest the North Really Didn't Like American Destroyers. At All. This must mean something.

That is incredibly cool! Do you still have access to those? I, and I'm sure a number of others here, would be very interested in seeing them.
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Re: reporting on board

Postby asgaard aardvaark » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:37 pm

Hi fellas, I'm back--did you miss me? I have been busier than a paperboy on a unicycle lately. I have been working on my magnum opus--a novel of 120+K words and just typed the most satisfying word in the whole work: "FINIS"! All that remains is the second hardest part (the hardest is getting started), finding an agent. Still, I am now free to resume my nit-picking and wild suggestions. Now it's time to celebrate--where's that bucket of "Swan's" that Capt. Ray of the Tranquility gave us?--Cheers! :D
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Re: reporting on board

Postby Kona » Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:43 am

Welcome back, AA! We've all been diligently helping Paul write FC ;)

Good luck on your publishing!
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Re: reporting on board

Postby PaulGazis » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:46 am

asgaard aardvaark wrote:Hi fellas, I'm back--did you miss me? I have been busier than a paperboy on a unicycle lately. I have been working on my magnum opus--a novel of 120+K words and just typed the most satisfying word in the whole work: "FINIS"!

Welcome back, AA! But don't keep us in suspense here... tell us more about The Work. This could be an excellent chance to start working on the blurb for those query letters :) And good luck finding that agent! I'll be crossing my fingers and rooting for your success!
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Re: reporting on board

Postby asgaard aardvaark » Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:30 pm

"don't keep us in suspense here... tell us more about The Work."

Well--without giving away too many spoilers, here goes:
Imagine, if you will living in a society where home invasions are not a matter of "if" but rather a matter of "when" and there is no law enforcement to protect you or--more importantly in this case--an object of great value that you possess. Wouldn't you keep a weapon on hand for use against the inevitable break-in?
That's what Sarellen is, a young woman conditioned from childhood to be a weapon and then placed in stasis until needed. But she doesn't know this--in fact all she knows since succenly finding herself standing on the edge of a rocky cliff in the midst of a forested mountain range, is her name and a vague, cryptic message that may be a mission statement: "Seek out the pieces of the artifact, a nascent dark threatens." Anything prior to her being activated after around 2000 years in stasis is lost. "hidden behind a blank wall, which her mind couldn't penetrate."
So the direction of the story is Sarellen's journey as she learns who, what and why she is, the nature of "The Artifact" and her relationship to it. She will also come face-to-face with the "Nascent Dark" about which she has been warned.
On the way, she will meet people, make friends meet challenges, face death and find the answers she was seeking--even though some of the answers are not what she was expecting.
How's about that? :)
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Re: reporting on board

Postby Kona » Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:04 pm

Sounds compelling, AA! Looking forward to reading it.
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Re: reporting on board

Postby phillies » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:57 am

Having been here for a bit, I nonetheless say hello. Past members of the Pack of The Wild Hunt will recognize me. During and since then I have finished three novels, a collection of short stories, two textbooks on the design of board games, two political books on the Libertarian Party, and am hard at work on Book Nine "Phenomenology of Polymer Solution Dynamics" due with Cambridge University Press at the end of the year. I also edit two magazines and teach physics, not to mention a course on Design of Tabletop Strategy Games. I also ran for my party's Presidential Nomination, and ended up on the ballot in New Hampshire.
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Re: reporting on board

Postby Kona » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:22 am

phillies wrote:Having been here for a bit, I nonetheless say hello. Past members of the Pack of The Wild Hunt will recognize me. During and since then I have finished three novels, a collection of short stories, two textbooks on the design of board games, two political books on the Libertarian Party, and am hard at work on Book Nine "Phenomenology of Polymer Solution Dynamics" due with Cambridge University Press at the end of the year. I also edit two magazines and teach physics, not to mention a course on Design of Tabletop Strategy Games. I also ran for my party's Presidential Nomination, and ended up on the ballot in New Hampshire.


Okay, I'm officially in the deep end of the pool here. :shock:

It's a balm to my spirit to know that the Internet is not completely devoid of literacy and eloquence, but I'm starting to feel like the busboy at the Algonquin Round Table. Paul, what hath thou wrought?
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