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RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land

 
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RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 9/29/2011 8:38:24 PM   
Extraneous

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Red Prince
Sorry to disagree, but "they" are not. The naval unit write-ups are standardised to the Queens English. The land unit write-ups, however, are being standardized to American English.

The reason is very straightforward: Rob Jenkins has been typing his fingers to the bone, working on the Naval Units, and being a Brit, he is doing it his way. I have close to two-dozen different authors for the Land Units, which I have been asked to collect from them. I originally offered to proofread any unit write-ups, and I'll probably be doing most of them. Being a Yank, I made the arbitrary decision that the Land Unit write-ups would be done in American -- because it makes my job easier.


Interesting, I didn't know that land units were going to be in American english.

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Post #: 2131
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/3/2011 3:25:18 PM   
Gendarme

 

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On the Milan and Napoli Militia writeups, first paragraph, Carabineri is incorrectly spelled. Only one "r" at the end. "Carabinieri", not "Carabinierri".

Anthony DeChristopher

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2132
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/3/2011 6:54:45 PM   
Extraneous

 

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LA FORZA DELL'ESERCITO IL 10 GIUGNO 1940 (THE FORCE OF THE ARMY June 10 1940)

SDL|FreeTranslation.com


My translation

In Metropolitan Italy the Territorial Army (D'Armata Territoriale) covered 27 Military Zones using 15 Defense Commands (Corpo d'Armata Territoriale). These were developed from Divisional Depots, GAF (Guardia alla Frontiera) units, Black Shirt Centuries (Companies), Cohorts (Battalions), and Legions (Divisions) dedicated to defend controlled areas.

MILMART - Milizia Marittima or Milizia Artiglieria Marittima (Navy Militia (Black Shirt) Coastal Defense)
DICAT - Difesa Antiaerea or Difesa Contraerea Territoriale (Militia (Black Shirt) Antiaircraft)



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Post #: 2133
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/3/2011 7:28:41 PM   
Centuur


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It is nice to see that the old Roman terms are still in use in the Italian Military.

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Post #: 2134
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/5/2011 9:13:46 PM   
Jimm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gendarme

On the Milan and Napoli Militia writeups, first paragraph, Carabineri is incorrectly spelled. Only one "r" at the end. "Carabinieri", not "Carabinierri".

Anthony DeChristopher


Anthony- thanks for the spot.

(in reply to Gendarme)
Post #: 2135
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/5/2011 9:19:59 PM   
Jimm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur

It is nice to see that the old Roman terms are still in use in the Italian Military.


well... not really! The Blackshirts were Fascist paramilitaries- the Fascist ideology had an idealised view of itself as the new Roman Empire and hence they identified with their terms. The term Fascist after all comes from the Fasces, the symbol of authority of Roman Lictors (an Axe with a haft of bundled rods).

These terms were not used after the end of the war and the fall of the fascists- to my knowledge.




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Post #: 2136
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/6/2011 11:59:39 AM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gendarme

On the Milan and Napoli Militia writeups, first paragraph, Carabineri is incorrectly spelled. Only one "r" at the end. "Carabinieri", not "Carabinierri".

Anthony DeChristopher

Took me a few days, but I finally got around to correcting this in the master file. As Jimm said, nice catch.

-Aaron

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Post #: 2137
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/11/2011 2:35:09 PM   
Red Prince


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Yet another addition from Jimm here for the Italian counters. He tells me he is working on even more of them, and he's doing a hell of a job, too. Thanks, Jimm!

More naval units from Rob are on the way. I have one now that I'm trying to get down to size, so it might be a few more days. But it's on the wasy (HMS Coventry).




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 2138
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/12/2011 2:38:45 AM   
Extraneous

 

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T similarly?

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Post #: 2139
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/12/2011 4:10:09 AM   
Red Prince


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Extraneous

T similarly?

Oops. I must have missed a period. Thanks.
-----
Edit: .T is a formating indicator in the unit master file.

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 10/12/2011 4:11:32 AM >


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Post #: 2140
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/14/2011 4:33:53 PM   
Red Prince


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And another from Jimm:




Attachment (1)

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Post #: 2141
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/14/2011 10:11:10 PM   
Extraneous

 

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Operation Compass: The First Campaign of the Desert War December 1940 - February 1941 (Part 3): Orders of Battle


Gruppo Divisioni Libiche (Libyan Group)
(Gruppo Divisioni Libiche - Libyan Group Divisions)


(HQ Sidi Barrani)
Generale di Corpo d'Armata Sebastiano Gallina (Note: Lead by a corps commander)

2nd Ragrupamento Carristi (Tank Group) (M11/39s & L3s) Colonello Trivioli

1st Libica Sibelle Division (Maktila)
2nd Libica Pescatori Division (Tummar)
3rd Libica - Gruppo Malletti (Nibeiwa)
4th 3 Gennaio (3 January) CCNN Division (Sidi Barrani)


< Message edited by Extraneous -- 10/14/2011 10:21:04 PM >


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RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/25/2011 10:12:37 AM   
Red Prince


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In addition to vigorous testing of Italian conquest situations, Jimm has been working on the unit write-ups for Italy just as vigorously. Since he began his push to get the Italian units finished, he has cut the total to be completed in half! With his latest effort, Jimm has almost cleared out all of the MECH units (only 1 remains):




Attachment (1)

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Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
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Post #: 2143
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/25/2011 11:36:51 AM   
Red Prince


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And, much to my amazement, he finished the last MTN unit, too:
-----
Edit: To make this more visually appealing, I've added a blank line between the bulleted paragraphs, but I'm not going to replace the image here.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Red Prince -- 10/25/2011 11:39:42 AM >


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Post #: 2144
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/25/2011 5:41:48 PM   
Extraneous

 

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I will be as brief as possible.

Fall Anton (Case Anton)

After this the division dissolved – After this the division surrendered to the Germans.

Named for areas in the Alps.
1st Alpini Division Taurinense (Turin area "the Capital of the Alps") 09/10/35 – 09/10/43
2nd Alpini Division Tridentina (Venezia Tridentina) 10/31/35 – 01/28/43
3rd Alpini Division Julia (The Julian Alps) 12/10/35 – 09/08/43
4th Alpini Division Cuneense (the area around Cuneo) 10/31/35 – 01/28/43
5th Alpini Division Pusteria (The Puster Valley) 12/31/35 – 09/08/43
6th Alpini Division Alpi Graie (The Graian Alps) formed from replacement Alpini units 01/41 – 09/08/43

http://maps.thefullwiki.org/Alpini

When Italy decided to invade Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in 1935, the Exilles and Intra battalions and two artillery batteries from the 1st Alpini Division were attached to the 5 Alpine Division Pusteria and sent to Eritrea. The detached units returned to the Taurinense after the Pusteria's return to Italy in 1937.

One Alpini battalion was employed in East Africa. In 1942, Tridentina, Julia, and Cuneense division (2nd, 3rd, and 4th Alpini Divisions) were sent to fight in the Soviet Union. In Russia, instead of being deployed in the Caucasus Mountains as expected, the Alpini were tasked with holding a front on the plains of the Don River. As a result of this disastrous strategic decision, troops armed, trained, and equipped for mountain warfare were pitted in the plains against tanks and mechanized infantry, to counter which they were neither equipped nor trained. Despite this, the Alpini held the front until January 1943, when, due to the collapse of the Axis front, the advancing Soviet Army encircled them. The Alpini were able to break the encirclement and fight their way towards the new line of the front established after the Axis retreat. Only about a third of the Tridentina division (4250 survivors of 15000 troops deployed) and a tenth of the Julia (1200/15000) were able to survive this odyssey. The 4th Alpini Division Cuneense was annihilated.

< Message edited by Extraneous -- 10/25/2011 5:42:15 PM >


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Post #: 2145
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/25/2011 9:25:16 PM   
Jimm


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Thank you for your comments as ever, Extra.

I covered the Don/8th Army Alpini divisions under the "Alpini" Corps writeup previously, so this one is primarily focused on the other three.

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Post #: 2146
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/26/2011 2:59:32 AM   
Extraneous

 

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 Nessun problema

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Post #: 2147
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/30/2011 11:13:22 PM   
warspite1


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Please see draft of the US heavy cruiser Vincennes and a brief outline of the Battle of Savo Island.


[4155 Vincennes]
.B Engine output: 107,000 hp
.B Top Speed: 32.7 knots
.B Main armament: 9 x 8-inch (203mm), 8 x 5-inch (127mm) guns
.B Displacement (full load): 12,463 tons
.B Thickest armour: 5-inch (belt)
.P The New Orleans were a class of seven heavy cruisers built for the United
States Navy (USN) between 1930 and 1937.
.P In 1929 the USN embarked upon a fifteen-ship cruiser building program.
However, a number of factors came together to ensure that this program was never
completed as intended.
.P Three of the New Orleans-class began life as Portland-class cruisers. However,
there was at that time mounting concern that the USN heavy cruiser designs were
deficient in armour protection.
.P As a result, only two Portlands were completed and the remaining three ships -
New Orleans, Astoria and Minneapolis - were built to a new, New Orleans-class
design. Four further ships followed: Tuscaloosa, San Francisco, Quincy and
Vincennes.
.P The new class kept with the basic armament package employed in the Portlands;
the main armament consisted of three triple 8-inch turrets; while anti-aircraft
(AA) armament was made up of eight 5-inch/25 guns and eight 0.5-inch close-range
guns. Up to four aircraft could be carried.
.P Armour protection, the main focus of the New Orleans-class, was considerably
strengthened in all areas. The maximum belt thickness was increased to 5-inches
and the deck armour over the machinery and magazine spaces was increased to 2.25-
inches. The main turrets were also much better protected with the lightly
protected gun-house mounting previously adopted being replaced with an armoured
turret.
.P These cruisers maintained an impressive top speed and at 32.7 knots, were
infact, slightly faster than their predecessors.
.P Despite these improvements, the standard weight of these ships was only just
over the 10,000 ton limit set by the Washington Naval Treaty. This result was
achieved partly through making the accommodation less inviting than had
previously been the case.
.P In line with naming convention, the ships were named after large cities in the
United States.
.P USS Vincennes was completed in February 1937, the last of the New Orleans-
class to be built. At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 she was
based on America's eastern seaboard.
.P Later that month, Vincennes was one of the USN ships deployed on neutrality
patrol duty. Vincennes and her sister Quincy were part of Patrol 9 at this time,
operating off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Neutrality patrol work continued for
much of 1940 and into 1941, interspersed with operations to safely deliver gold
reserves from Allied countries to the United States.
.P From April 1941, the USN began operating from its newly acquired naval base in
Bermuda. Vincennes was part of Task Group (TG) 37.3 that operated from there as
part of the Central Atlantic Neutrality Patrol.
.P In July, Vincennes sailed for Iceland following the decision to replace the
British garrison there with American troops (see USS Quincy). The US was still
neutral, however, her actions in defence of Allied convoys was becoming
increasingly belligerent, and Vincennes was to remain in northern waters until
January 1942. By that time, the US was actually at war, following the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor and Germany's subsequent declaration of war, and Vincennes
was tasked with escorting a number of convoys down the eastern seaboard to
Panama.
.P The last of these took place in March 1942, with Vincennes sailing as part of
Task Force (TF) 18 from New York with convoy BT.201. This convoy consisted of
seven troop transports. TF18 were not ending their journey in Panama however.
This force, consisting of the aircraft carrier Hornet and the light cruiser
Nashville, headed for San Francisco in order for Hornet to embark sixteen B-25
medium bombers. TF18 left San Francisco on the 2nd April and then joined up with
TF16 for what would be one of the most audacious bombing missions of World War
II; the Doolittle Raid (see USS Hornet).
.P Vincennes headed for Pearl Harbor once the B-25's had been successfully
launched, and awaited her next operation. Just five days later the enlarged TF16
was underway again, this time for the Coral Sea in the southwest Pacific.
However, the ships of TF16 were too late to take any part in what became known as
the Battle of the Coral Sea, and they returned to Pearl Harbor once more (see USS
Lexington).
.P In June, Vincennes and TF16 took part in one of the most decisive naval
battles in history; Midway. This battle was to see the Imperial Japanese Navy
lose four fleet carriers for the loss of just one American flat top (see USS
Yorktown).
.P Following Midway, the US Pacific Fleet was re-organised and Vincennes became
part of a new TF18, commanded by Rear-Admiral Leigh Noyes. This task force
centred around the aircraft carrier Wasp, a new arrival to the Pacific, and also
contained the battleship North Carolina, the heavy cruisers Quincy and San
Francisco, the light cruiser San Juan and six destroyers.
.P Having inflicted the catastrophic reverse of Midway on the Japanese navy, the
US commanders decided that they could bring forward their plans for counter-
attack. The first target would be the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the
Solomon Island chain. News that the Japanese were building an airstrip on the
former meant that capturing the island as early as possible was vital to ensure
that the Japanese could not deploy large numbers of aircraft in those islands;
aircraft that would threaten the supply route between the US and Australia.
.P The US operation was code-named Watchtower, and would be a USN and Marine
operation (with limited long range air support provided by aircraft based in
Australia). The Royal Australian Navy provided three cruisers for the operation
too.
.P The landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi began in the early hours of the 7th
August (see Transport Counter 4247). Supporting the landings against Guadalcanal
was Fire Support Group L. Vincennes was the flagship for this force, which was
commanded by Captain Frederick Riefkohl.
.P The landings proved a success; the Japanese were taken completely by surprise
and the partly completed airfield and a great quantity of supplies were captured
on that first day. Japanese air attacks against the invasion fleet proved to be
ineffective, but this was not to be their only response to the invasion.
.P Vice-Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, the commander of the 8th Fleet, based at Rabaul,
decided to launch a night attack against the invasion fleet. For this, Mikawa had
the following ships available: the heavy cruisers Chokai (flagship), Aoba, Kako
and Kinugasa; the light cruisers Tenryu and Yubari and one destroyer.
.P For Mikawa, the prize was even greater than he could imagine, as the American
transports were nowhere near fully unloaded on the night of the 8th/9th August;
the time he would be reach the enemy.
.P In order to understand the battle, it is a good idea to set out how the
geography of the area. Guadalcanal is separated from the much smaller, Florida
Island by the Skylark Channel, a distance of just over twenty miles. The little
island of Tulagi lies just off the south coast of Florida Island. The island of
Savo lies approximately eight miles off the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, and
about fifteen miles separates Savo from Florida Island to the east,
.P In order to protect the vulnerable transports off both Guadalcanal and Tulagi,
a cruiser and destroyer force was organised. Two destroyers - Blue and Ralph
Talbot - were deployed as pickets either side of Savo Island to guard the western
entrance to the Skylark Channel. To protect the transports off the coast of
Guadalcanal, a force, designated Southern Group, was deployed. This was under the
command of Rear-Admiral Victor Crutchley RN, and consisted of the heavy cruisers
HMAS Australia (flagship), HMAS Canberra and USS Chicago; and the destroyers
Bagley and Patterson. A second force - the Northern Group - protected the Tulagi
transports, and consisted of the heavy cruisers Astoria, Quincy and Vincennes;
and the destroyers Helm and Wilson. A third group of ships - the Eastern Group -
was deployed to stop any incursion into the channel from the east. This third
group, which was to play no part in the battle, consisted of the light cruisers
San Juan and HMAS Hobart, and the destroyers Monssen and Buchanan.
.P The journey from Rabaul to Guadalcanal was fraught with danger for Mikawa, but
fortunately for the Japanese, although Mikawa's ships were sighted by Allied
aircraft and a submarine, the information was not reported to the commanders at
Guadalcanal quickly. Even when the information did filter through, the wrong
conclusions were reached as to Japanese intentions. These errors were then
compounded by further Allied mistakes. As he neared his target, Mikawa ordered
search aircraft aloft in order to check on the final dispositions of the enemy.
Despite the presence of unknown aircraft being picked up by a number of the
Allied warships, the information was not acted upon.
.P Early on the evening of the 8th, Rear-Admiral Crutchley was called to a
conference by Rear-Admiral Richmond Turner, commander of the amphibious forces.
Crutchley sailed to the conference in Australia, leaving Captain Howard Bode on
Chicago in charge of the Southern Group. It was the Southern Group that would
feel the weight of the initial Japanese attack.
.P Mikawa placed his ships in column, headed by Chokai, and just before 0100hrs
the look-outs on the flagship spotted the picket Blue. Neither Blue's radar nor
her own look-outs saw the Japanese fleet which sailed right past her and so
Mikawa headed for the unsuspecting Southern Group at almost thirty knots.
.P It was almost three quarters of an hour later that the Allied cruisers
Canberra and Chicago were spotted by the Japanese flagship, and she in turn was
spotted by the destroyer Patterson. The Japanese aircraft, that were still flying
unmolested above the Allied ships, launched flares that illuminated the scene
below and the Japanese launched their deadly long lance torpedoes. Before the
crew of Canberra could take in what was happening she had been struck by two
torpedoes and a number of 8-inch shells. The Australian ship was barely able to
summon any sort of response before she lost all power and was effectively a
sitting duck.
.P Minutes later, Chicago was also rocked by a torpedo, although the damage was
not fatal. However, her captain inexplicably ordered her to sail west, away from
the transports Chicago was supposed to be protecting, and away from the battle.
Crucially, no report of the attack was sent to the other two groups.
.P It was less than five minutes from the firing of the torpedoes at Canberra to
the first firing of torpedoes aimed at the ships of the Northern Group. Astoria
was the first ship hit and she was quickly ablaze. Remarkably, despite huge
fires raging throughout the ship, Astoria was able to keep firing at her
tormentors for many minutes and it was her shells that damaged Chokai during the
one-sided battle. She could perhaps have achieved more, but in the intial
confusion, her captain actually ordered his gun crews to cease firing as he
thought Astoria was shooting at Allied vessels. Vincennes too was able to return
fire with a number of salvoes, and Kinugasa was hit by at least one of her
shells. But Vincennes too was simply overwhelmed by the accurate gunnery and
torpedo fire from the Japanese ships. The worst punishment was handed out to the
Quincy. She was struck by three torpedoes and over fifty shells during her brief
engagement.
.P It was now 0200hrs, and with the cruisers of the Northern Group sunk or
sinking, Mikawa now had a difficult choice to make. Should he continue on and
attack the defenceless transports? or should he turn for home so that his ships
would be clear of any enemy carrier aircraft by the time daylight appeared? In
the end, caution got the better of Mikawa and he headed for home, attacking and
badly damaging the destroyer Ralph Talbot on the way.
.P Left behind were HMAS Canberra (scuttled the following morning), 84 dead;
Astoria, 216 dead; Quincy, 370 dead; and Vincennes, 332 dead. In addition, the
Chicago was damaged as was the destroyer Ralph Talbot.
.P The Battle of Savo Island was a crushing defeat for the Allied forces, but
catastrophe was avoided thanks to Mikawa's decision not to attack the transports.
Had he done so, even at the cost of some or all of his own ships, there is every
likliehood that the Japanese would have regained Guadalcanal and the Americans
could well have lost an entire marine division in the process.

_____________________________

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(in reply to Extraneous)
Post #: 2148
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/31/2011 12:12:19 AM   
Shannon V. OKeets

 

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From: Honolulu, Hawaii
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From MWIF. Savo Island itself isn't shown, but many of the other islands Robert mentions are.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shannon V. OKeets -- 10/31/2011 12:13:16 AM >


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Perfection is an elusive goal.

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2149
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/31/2011 12:35:08 AM   
Extraneous

 

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Joined: 6/14/2008
Status: offline
.B   Engine output: 107,000 hp
.B   Top Speed: 32.7 knots
.B   Main armament: 9 x 8-inch (203mm), 8 x 5-inch (127mm) guns
.B   Displacement (full load): 12,463 tons
.B   Thickest armour: 5-inch (belt)
.P     The New Orleans were a class of seven heavy cruisers built for the United
States Navy (USN) between 1930 and 1937.
.P In 1929 the USN embarked upon a fifteen-ship cruiser building program.
However, a number of factors came together to ensure that this program was never
completed as intended.
.P Three of the New Orleans-class began life as Portland-class cruisers. However,
there was at that time mounting concern that the USN heavy cruiser designs were
deficient in armour protection.
.P As a result, only two Portland’s were completed and the remaining three ships -
New Orleans, Astoria and Minneapolis - were built to a new, New Orleans-class
design. Four further ships followed: Tuscaloosa, San Francisco, Quincy and
Vincennes.
.P The new class kept with the basic armament package employed in the Portland’s;
the main armament consisted of three triple 8-inch turrets; while anti-aircraft
(AA) armament was made up of eight 5-inch/25 guns and eight 0.5-inch close-range
guns. Up to four aircraft could be carried.
.P Armour protection, the main focus of the New Orleans-class, was considerably
strengthened in all areas. The maximum belt thickness was increased to 5-inches
and the deck armour over the machinery and magazine spaces was increased to 2.25-
inches. The main turrets were also much better protected with the lightly
protected gun-house mounting previously adopted being replaced with an armoured
turret.
.P These cruisers maintained an impressive top speed and at 32.7 knots, were
in fact, slightly faster than their predecessors.
.P Despite these improvements, the standard weight of these ships was only just
over the 10,000 ton limit set by the Washington Naval Treaty. This result was
achieved partly through making the accommodation less inviting than had
previously been the case. 
.P In line with naming convention, the ships were named after large cities in the
United States.
.P USS Vincennes was completed in February 1937, the last of the New Orleans-
class to be built. At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 she was
based on America's eastern seaboard.
.P Later that month, Vincennes was one of the USN ships deployed on neutrality
patrol duty. Vincennes and her sister Quincy were part of Patrol 9 at this time,
operating off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Neutrality patrol work continued for
much of 1940 and into 1941, interspersed with operations to safely deliver gold
reserves from Allied countries to the United States.
.P From April 1941, the USN began operating from its newly acquired naval base in
Bermuda. Vincennes was part of Task Group (TG) 37.3 that operated from there as
part of the Central Atlantic Neutrality Patrol.
.P In July, Vincennes sailed for Iceland following the decision to replace the
British garrison there with American troops (see USS Quincy). The US was still
neutral, however, her actions in defence of Allied convoys was becoming
increasingly belligerent, and Vincennes was to remain in northern waters until
January 1942. By that time, the US was actually at war, following the Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor and Germany's subsequent declaration of war, and Vincennes
was tasked with escorting a number of convoys down the eastern seaboard to
Panama.
.P The last of these took place in March 1942, with Vincennes sailing as part of
Task Force (TF) 18 from New York with convoy BT.201. This convoy consisted of
seven troop transports. TF18 were not ending their journey in Panama however.
This force, consisting of the aircraft carrier Hornet and the light cruiser
Nashville, headed for San Francisco in order for Hornet to embark sixteen B-25
medium bombers. TF18 left San Francisco on the 2nd April and then joined up with
TF16 for what would be one of the most audacious bombing missions of World War
II; the Doolittle Raid (see USS Hornet).
.P Vincennes headed for Pearl Harbor once the B-25's had been successfully
launched, and awaited her next operation. Just five days later the enlarged TF16
was underway again, this time for the Coral Sea in the southwest Pacific.
However, the ships of TF16 were too late to take any part in what became known as
the Battle of the Coral Sea, and they returned to Pearl Harbor once more (see USS
Lexington).
.P In June, Vincennes and TF16 took part in one of the most decisive naval
battles in history; Midway. This battle was to see the Imperial Japanese Navy
lose four fleet carriers for the loss of just one American flat top (see USS
Yorktown). 
.P Following Midway, the US Pacific Fleet was re-organised and Vincennes became
part of a new TF18, commanded by Rear-Admiral Leigh Noyes. This task force
centred around the aircraft carrier Wasp, a new arrival to the Pacific, and also
contained the battleship North Carolina, the heavy cruisers Quincy and San
Francisco, the light cruiser San Juan and six destroyers.
.P Having inflicted the catastrophic reverse of Midway on the Japanese navy, the
US commanders decided that they could bring forward their plans for counter
attack
. The first target would be the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the
Solomon Island chain. News that the Japanese were building an airstrip on the
former meant that capturing the island as early as possible was vital to ensure
that the Japanese could not deploy large numbers of aircraft in those islands;
aircraft that would threaten the supply route between the US and Australia.
.P The US operation was code-named Watchtower, and would be a USN and Marine
operation (with limited long range air support provided by aircraft based in
Australia). The Royal Australian Navy provided three cruisers for the operation
too.
.P The landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi began in the early hours of the 7th
August (see Transport Counter 4247). Supporting the landings against Guadalcanal
was Fire Support Group L. Vincennes was the flagship for this force, which was
commanded by Captain Frederick Riefkohl.
.P The landings proved a success; the Japanese were taken completely by surprise
and the partly completed airfield and a great quantity of supplies were captured
on that first day. Japanese air attacks against the invasion fleet proved to be
ineffective, but this was not to be their only response to the invasion.
.P Vice-Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, the commander of the 8th Fleet, based at Rabaul,
decided to launch a night attack against the invasion fleet. For this, Mikawa had
the following ships available: the heavy cruisers Chokai (flagship), Aoba, Kako
and Kinugasa; the light cruisers Tenryu and Yubari and one destroyer.
.P For Mikawa, the prize was even greater than he could imagine, as the American
transports were nowhere near fully unloaded on the night of the 8th/9th August;
the time he would be reach the enemy.
.P In order to understand the battle, it is a good idea to set out how the
geography of the area. Guadalcanal is separated from the much smaller, Florida
Island by the Skylark Channel, a distance of just over twenty miles. The little
island of Tulagi lies just off the south coast of Florida Island. Savo island
lies approximately eight miles off the northwest coast of Guadalcanal, and
about fifteen miles separates Savo island from Florida Island to the east,  
.P In order to protect the vulnerable transports off both Guadalcanal and Tulagi,
a cruiser and destroyer force was organised. Two destroyers - Blue and Ralph
Talbot - were deployed as pickets either side of Savo Island to guard the western
entrance to the Skylark Channel. To protect the transports off the coast of
Guadalcanal, a force, designated Southern Group, was deployed. This was under the
command of Rear-Admiral Victor Crutchley RN, and consisted of the heavy cruisers
HMAS Australia (flagship), HMAS Canberra and USS Chicago; and the destroyers
Bagley and Patterson. A second force - the Northern Group - protected the Tulagi
transports, and consisted of the heavy cruisers Astoria, Quincy and Vincennes;
and the destroyers Helm and Wilson. A third group of ships - the Eastern Group -
was deployed to stop any incursion into the channel from the east. This third
group, which was to play no part in the battle, consisted of the light cruisers
San Juan and HMAS Hobart, and the destroyers Monssen and Buchanan.
.P The journey from Rabaul to Guadalcanal was fraught with danger for Mikawa, but
fortunately for the Japanese, although Mikawa's ships were sighted by Allied
aircraft and a submarine, the information was not reported to the commanders at
Guadalcanal quickly. Even when the information did filter through, the wrong
conclusions were reached as to Japanese intentions. These errors were then
compounded by further Allied mistakes. As he neared his target, Mikawa ordered
search aircraft aloft in order to check on the final dispositions of the enemy.
Despite the presence of unknown aircraft being picked up by a number of the
Allied warships, the information was not acted upon. 
.P Early on the evening of the 8th, Rear-Admiral Crutchley was called to a
conference by Rear-Admiral Richmond Turner, commander of the amphibious forces.
Crutchley sailed to the conference in Australia, leaving Captain Howard Bode on
Chicago in charge of the Southern Group. It was the Southern Group that would
feel the weight of the initial Japanese attack.
.P Mikawa placed his ships in column, headed by Chokai, and just before 0100hrs
the look out’s  on the flagship spotted the picket Blue. Neither Blue's radar nor
her own look out’s saw the Japanese fleet which sailed right past her and so
Mikawa headed for the unsuspecting Southern Group at almost thirty knots.
.P It was almost three quarters of an hour later that the Allied cruisers
Canberra and Chicago were spotted by the Japanese flagship, and she in turn was
spotted by the destroyer Patterson. The Japanese aircraft, that were still flying
unmolested above the Allied ships, launched flares that illuminated the scene
below and the Japanese launched their deadly long lance torpedoes. Before the
crew of Canberra could take in what was happening two torpedoes and a
number of 8-inch shells had struck her
.  The Australian ship was barely
able to summon any sort of response before she lost all power and was effectively
a sitting duck.
.P Minutes later, Chicago was also rocked by a torpedo, although the damage was
not fatal. However, her captain inexplicably ordered her to sail west, away from
the transports Chicago was supposed to be protecting, and away from the battle.
Crucially, no report of the attack was sent to the other two groups.
.P It was less than five minutes from the firing of the torpedoes at Canberra to
the first firing of torpedoes aimed at the ships of the Northern Group. Astoria
was the first ship hit and she was quickly ablaze. Remarkably, despite huge
fires raging throughout the ship, Astoria was able to keep firing at her
tormentors for many minutes and it was her shells that damaged Chokai during the
one-sided battle. She could perhaps have achieved more, but in the initial
confusion, her captain actually ordered his gun crews to cease firing as he
thought Astoria was shooting at Allied vessels. Vincennes too was able to return
fire with a number of salvoes, and Kinugasa was hit by at least one of her
shells. But Vincennes too was simply overwhelmed by the accurate gunnery and
torpedo fire from the Japanese ships. The worst punishment was handed out to the
Quincy. Three torpedoes and over fifty shells struck her during her brief
engagement.

.P It was now 0200hrs, and with the cruisers of the Northern Group sunk or
sinking, Mikawa now had a difficult choice to make. Should he continue on and
attack the defenceless transports? or should he turn for home so that his ships
would be clear of any enemy carrier aircraft by the time daylight appeared? In
the end, caution got the better of Mikawa and he headed for home, attacking and
badly damaging the destroyer Ralph Talbot on the way.
.P Left behind were HMAS Canberra (scuttled the following morning), 84 dead;
Astoria, 216 dead; Quincy, 370 dead; and Vincennes, 332 dead. In addition, the
Chicago was damaged as was the destroyer Ralph Talbot. 
.P The Battle of Savo Island was a crushing defeat for the Allied forces, but
catastrophe was avoided thanks to Mikawa's decision not to attack the transports.
Had he done so, even at the cost of some or all of his own ships, there is every
likelihood that the Japanese would have regained Guadalcanal and the
Americans could well have lost an entire marine division in the process.


_____________________________

University of Science Music and Culture (USMC) class of 71 and 72 ~ Extraneous (AKA Mziln)

(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2150
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 10/31/2011 7:47:34 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 20258
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shannon V. OKeets

From MWIF. Savo Island itself isn't shown, but many of the other islands Robert mentions are.



Warspite1

If it did, the island would be almost round in shape and positioned on the intersection of three hexes directly belw the second s in Russell.


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Shannon V. OKeets)
Post #: 2151
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/1/2011 1:53:25 AM   
Red Prince


Posts: 3686
Joined: 4/8/2011
From: Bangor, Maine, USA
Status: offline
For more than a few weeks now, I've been promising Rob that I would get this unit posted. Normally I post these as a single-column image, but this one was quite long, so I split it into two colums.

And now, from the typing finger of our Naval Unit write-up Master, Robert Jenkins, I give you the HMS Coventry:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2152
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/1/2011 7:50:22 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 20258
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
Thanks Aaron - always nice to see these "in the counter", but once there I always spot mistakes that I couldn't see previously . I will make the amendments to the master file in the next few days. The first AA reference needs anti-aircraft before it. There is a reference to RN in the plural too How many times can I make that mistake?? plus a couple of other annoyances....

P.S congrats on the moderator status - and being able to keep USS Maine too as an avatar .

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2153
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/1/2011 10:37:17 AM   
Red Prince


Posts: 3686
Joined: 4/8/2011
From: Bangor, Maine, USA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Thanks Aaron - always nice to see these "in the counter", but once there I always spot mistakes that I couldn't see previously . I will make the amendments to the master file in the next few days. The first AA reference needs anti-aircraft before it. There is a reference to RN in the plural too How many times can I make that mistake?? plus a couple of other annoyances....

P.S congrats on the moderator status - and being able to keep USS Maine too as an avatar .

Thanks, Rob.

Keeping the avatar was a bonus I didn't expect, but I'm happy about it.

About the repetitive mistake . . . aren't you glad I didn't start posting all of these a loooooong time ago? Guess you'll have to retraiin that typing finger of yours not to pluralize of its own accord.

_____________________________

Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done and why. Then do it!
-Lazarus Long, RAH

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2154
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/1/2011 7:46:21 PM   
Centuur


Posts: 3862
Joined: 6/3/2011
From: Hoorn (NED).
Status: offline
Ahh. A promotion on the battlefield, I presume.  That's good for morale...

_____________________________

Peter

(in reply to Red Prince)
Post #: 2155
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/5/2011 2:26:32 PM   
warspite1


Posts: 20258
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
Hot on the heels of USS Vincennes, I hope to post a few Guadalcanal themed write-ups over the coming days. The first is USS Astoria.

[4109 Astoria]
.B Engine output: 107,000 hp
.B Top Speed: 32.7 knots
.B Main armament: 9 x 8-inch (203mm), 8 x 5-inch (127mm) guns
.B Displacement (full load): 12,463 tons
.B Thickest armour: 5-inch (belt)
.P The New Orleans were a class of seven heavy cruisers built for the United
States Navy (USN) between 1930 and 1937.
.P In 1929 the USN embarked upon a fifteen-ship cruiser building program.
However, a number of factors came together to ensure that this program was never
completed as intended.
.P Three of the New Orleans-class began life as Portland-class cruisers. However,
there was at that time mounting concern that the USN heavy cruiser designs were
deficient in armour protection.
.P As a result, only two Portland-class were completed and the remaining three
ships - New Orleans, Astoria and Minneapolis - were built to a new, New Orleans-
class design. Four further ships followed: Tuscaloosa, San Francisco, Quincy and
Vincennes.
.P The new class kept with the basic armament package employed in the Portland-
class; the main armament consisted of three triple 8-inch turrets; while anti-
aircraft (AA) armament was made up of eight 5-inch/25 guns and eight 0.5-inch
close-range guns. Up to four aircraft could be carried.
.P Armour protection, the main focus of the New Orleans-class, was considerably
strengthened in all areas. The maximum belt thickness was increased to 5-inches
and the deck armour over the machinery and magazine spaces was increased to 2.25-
inches. The main turrets were also much better protected with the lightly
protected gun-house mounting previously adopted being replaced with an armoured
turret.
.P These cruisers maintained an impressive top speed and at 32.7 knots, were
in fact, slightly faster than their predecessors.
.P Despite these improvements, the standard weight of these ships was only just
over the 10,000 ton limit set by the Washington Naval Treaty. This result was
achieved partly through making the accommodation less inviting than had
previously been the case.
.P In line with naming convention, the ships were named after large cities in the
United States.
.P USS Astoria was completed in June 1934. In September 1939, at the outbreak of
war in Europe, she was stationed with the Pacific Fleet at its base in
California. She moved with the fleet to its new home at Pearl Harbor in the
Hawaiian Islands in the spring of 1940.
.P War came to the United States on the 7th December 1941 courtesy of the
surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Astoria however had a lucky escape; she
was part of Task Force (TF) 12 that had left Pearl two days previously in order
to deliver aircraft to the American-owned island of Midway, and as a result, the
ships of TF12 were not at Pearl Harbor during the attack (see USS Arizona).
.P Astoria and the rest of TF12 arrived back at the naval base shortly afterwards
to a scene of devastation. How and where would the Americans respond? The answer
was decided for them; a small band of Marines, defending the Pacific outpost of
Wake Island, repulsed an initial Japanese attempt at invasion on the 11th
December. Astoria, now transferred to TF14, left Pearl on the 14th with the
carrier Saratoga, fellow cruisers Minneapolis and San Francisco, and a destroyer
screen. Their mission was to reinforce the defenders of Wake, but sadly, the
island was captured, and the task force recalled, before it could intervene (See
Transport Counter 4246).
.P In the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor therefore, the US military
concentrated upon restoring the naval base to full working order, and the
reinforcement and garrisoning of key Pacific bases.
.P Not knowing whether the Japanese would return to Hawaii, patrols were mounted
around the Hawaiian Islands as a precaution. While undertaking one of these
patrols, Astoria was with Saratoga, when the carrier was torpedoed by a Japanese
submarine in January 1942. Astoria escorted the crippled carrier safely back to
the United States, and then returned to Pearl Harbor.
.P In February, Astoria was transferred to her third different task force; this
time TF17, that was centred around the carrier Yorktown. Later that month, TF17
was to have undertaken a raid on the Japanese occupied island of Eniwetok.
However, this operation was cancelled and instead TF17 was ordered to escort a
vital supply convoy headed for the southwest Pacific. Once in that region, TF17
joined up with the carrier Lexington and her TF11.
.P On the 10th March the two carriers launched an air strike against Japanese
shipping at anchor on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. This operation was
successful in sinking or damaging a number of Japanese merchant vessels and the
light cruiser Yubari was one of the ships damaged.
.P Following this raid, the two US TF's remained in the southwest Pacific theatre
with both forces operating under the command of Rear-Admiral Frank Fletcher. Two
months later the Japanese began an operation to capture the remaining part of
Papua that was still under Allied control. This action led to the Battle of the
Coral Sea, during which Japanese expansion plans were checked for the first time
(see USS Lexington). Yorktown was badly damaged during this operation and TF17
returned immediately to Pearl Harbor for urgent repair work to be carried out.
.P The repairs were needed so urgently because the Americans knew from
intelligence that the Japanese were about to mount an invasion operation against
the island of Midway. Against all odds, Yorktown was sufficiently repaired to
take part in what would be one of the most decisive naval battles in history;
Midway. Astoria remained part of TF17 for this battle, which took place between
the 4th and 6th of June (see USS Yorktown).
.P Following the US victory at Midway, the Pacific Fleet was reorganised. Astoria
was ordered to join TF 11, under Rear-Admiral Aubrey Fitch. This force was
centred on the now repaired carrier Saratoga.
.P However, Astoria was not to be part of TF11 for long. Having won a great
victory at Midway, the United States prepared to speed up their plans to drive
the Japanese all the way back to Tokyo. The plan would begin with Operation
Watchtower; the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. For
the assault on the two islands, which took place on the 7th August 1942, Astoria
was part of Task Group 62.3, a cruiser force designed to provide naval gunfire
support to the landing on Guadalcanal (see Transport Counter 4247).
.P The invasion was a success; Marines landed on Guadalcanal without a fight, and
the smaller island of Tulagi was also secured after initial Japanese resistance
was overcome. However, the Japanese did not sit back idly by for long. On the
night of the 8th/9th August, a Japanese cruiser force attacked an American and
Australian cruiser screen that was deployed to guard the still loaded transport
ships at anchor off the two islands. During a brief, but bloody battle, which
became known as the Battle of Savo Island, the Allies lost four cruisers:
Astoria, Quincy, Vincennes and HMAS Canberra. Savo was a disaster for the Allies,
but one that could have been so much worse had the Japanese pressed home their
attack against the transports. Fortunately for the Marines ashore the enemy
commander, worried about the danger of air attack once daylight returned, sailed
for home (see USS Vincennes).

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Centuur)
Post #: 2156
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/5/2011 9:19:21 PM   
Extraneous

 

Posts: 1684
Joined: 6/14/2008
Status: offline
[4109 Astoria]
.B Engine output: 107,000 hp
.B Top Speed: 32.7 knots
.B Main armament: 9 x 8-inch (203mm), 8 x 5-inch (127mm) guns
.B Displacement (full load): 12,463 tons
.B Thickest armour: 5-inch (belt)
.P The New Orleans were a class of seven heavy cruisers built for the United
States Navy (USN) between 1930 and 1937.
.P In 1929 the USN embarked upon a fifteen-ship cruiser building program.
However, a number of factors came together to ensure that this program was never
completed as intended.
.P Three of the New Orleans-class began life as Portland-class cruisers. However,
there was at that time mounting concern that the USN heavy cruiser designs were
deficient in armour protection.
.P As a result, only two Portland-class were completed and the remaining three
ships - New Orleans, Astoria and Minneapolis - were built to a new, New Orleans-
class design. Four further ships followed: Tuscaloosa, San Francisco, Quincy and
Vincennes.
.P The new class kept with the basic armament package employed in the Portland-
class; the main armament consisted of three triple 8-inch turrets; while anti-
aircraft (AA) armament was made up of eight 5-inch/25 guns and eight 0.5-inch
close-range guns. Up to four aircraft could be carried.
.P Armour protection, the main focus of the New Orleans-class, was considerably
strengthened in all areas. The maximum belt thickness was increased to 5-inches
and the deck armour over the machinery and magazine spaces was increased to 2.25-
inches. The main turrets were also much better protected with the lightly
protected gun-house mounting previously adopted being replaced with an armoured
turret.
.P These cruisers maintained an impressive top speed and at 32.7 knots, were
in fact, slightly faster than their predecessors.
.P Despite these improvements, the standard weight of these ships was only just
over the 10,000 ton limit set by the Washington Naval Treaty. This result was
achieved partly through making the accommodation less inviting than had
previously been the case.
.P In line with naming convention, the ships were named after large cities in the
United States.
.P USS Astoria was completed in June 1934. In September 1939, at the outbreak of
war in Europe, she was stationed with the Pacific Fleet at its base in
California. She moved with the fleet to its new home at Pearl Harbor in the
Hawaiian Islands in the spring of 1940.
.P War came to the United States on the 7th December 1941 courtesy of the
surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Astoria however had a lucky escape; she
was part of Task Force (TF) 12 that had left Pearl two days previously in order
to deliver aircraft to the American-owned island of Midway, and as a result, the
ships of TF12 were not at Pearl Harbor during the attack (see USS Arizona).
.P Astoria and the rest of TF12 arrived back at the naval base shortly afterwards
to a scene of devastation. How and where would the Americans respond? The answer
was decided for them; a small band of Marines, defending the Pacific outpost of
Wake Island, repulsed an initial Japanese attempt at invasion on the 11th
December. Astoria, now transferred to TF14, left Pearl on the 14th with the
carrier Saratoga, fellow cruisers Minneapolis and San Francisco, and a destroyer
screen. Their mission was to reinforce the defenders of Wake, but sadly, the
island was captured, and the task force recalled, before it could intervene (See
Transport Counter 4246).
.P In the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor therefore, the US military
concentrated upon restoring the naval base to full working order, and the
reinforcement and garrisoning of key Pacific bases.
.P Not knowing whether the Japanese would return to Hawaii, patrols were mounted
around the Hawaiian Islands as a precaution. During one of these patrols in
January 1942 a Japanese submarine torpedoed the carrier Saratoga. Astoria
escorted the crippled carrier safely back to the United States, and then
returned to Pearl Harbor.

.P In February, Astoria was transferred to her third different task force; this
time TF17, that was centred around the carrier Yorktown. Later that month, TF17
was to have undertaken a raid on the Japanese occupied island of Eniwetok.
However, this operation was cancelled and instead TF17 was ordered to escort a
vital supply convoy headed for the southwest Pacific. Once in that region, TF17
joined up with the carrier Lexington and her TF11.
.P On the 10th March the two carriers launched an air strike against Japanese
shipping at anchor on the north coast of Papua New Guinea. This operation was
successful in sinking or damaging a number of Japanese merchant vessels and the
light cruiser Yubari was one of the ships damaged.
.P Following this raid, the two US TF's remained in the southwest Pacific theatre
with both forces operating under the command of Rear-Admiral Frank Fletcher. Two
months later the Japanese began an operation to capture the remaining part of
Papua that was still under Allied control. This action led to the Battle of the
Coral Sea, during which Japanese expansion plans were checked for the first time
(see USS Lexington). Yorktown was badly damaged during this operation and TF17
returned immediately to Pearl Harbor for urgent repair work to be carried out.
.P The repairs were needed so urgently because the Americans knew from
intelligence that the Japanese were about to mount an invasion operation against
the island of Midway. Against all odds, Yorktown was sufficiently repaired to
take part in what would be one of the most decisive naval battles in history;
Midway. Astoria remained part of TF17 for this battle, which took place between
the 4th and 6th of June (see USS Yorktown).
.P Following the US victory at Midway, the Pacific Fleet was reorganised. Astoria
was ordered to join TF 11, under Rear-Admiral Aubrey Fitch. This force was
centred on the now repaired carrier Saratoga.
.P However, Astoria was not to be part of TF11 for long. Having won a great
victory at Midway, the United States prepared to speed up their plans to drive
the Japanese all the way back to Tokyo. The plan would begin with Operation
Watchtower; the invasion of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands. For
the assault on the two islands, which took place on the 7th August 1942, Astoria
was part of Task Group 62.3, a cruiser force designed to provide naval gunfire
support to the landing on Guadalcanal (see Transport Counter 4247).
.P The invasion was a success; Marines landed on Guadalcanal without a fight, and
the smaller island of Tulagi was also secured after initial Japanese resistance
was overcome. However, the Japanese did not sit back idly by for long. On the
night of the 8th/9th August, a Japanese cruiser force attacked an American and
Australian cruiser screen that was deployed to guard the still loaded transport
ships at anchor off the two islands. During a brief, but bloody battle, which
became known as the Battle of Savo Island, the Allies lost four cruisers:
Astoria, Quincy, Vincennes and HMAS Canberra. The Battle was a disaster for the Allies,
but one that could have been so much worse had the Japanese pressed home their
attack against the transports. Fortunately for the Marines ashore the enemy
commander, worried about the danger of air attack once daylight returned, sailed
for home (see USS Vincennes).




< Message edited by Extraneous -- 11/5/2011 9:28:38 PM >


_____________________________

University of Science Music and Culture (USMC) class of 71 and 72 ~ Extraneous (AKA Mziln)

(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2157
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/6/2011 12:10:00 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 20258
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
2nd in the Guadalcanal series. The story of the US invasion is told in one of the Transport counters, but the Japanese had no real equivalent given the circumstances surrounding their earlier "invasion". I have therefore separated the Tulagi operation from Shoho (Battle of the Coral Sea) to give more context to the Japanese presence in the Solomons, prior to the Battle of Savo Island.

[4427 ASW Escort]
.P The date on the back of these ASW and ASW Carrier counters do not relate in
any meaningful way to actual build dates for the ships that took undertook the
convoy escort role during World War II. The counter date should therefore be
ignored.
.P These counters do not represent an individual convoy or any specific ships,
but are designed to represent convoy escort groups. They have mixed values
reflecting the fact that the make-up of an escort group could differ from one
convoy to the next.
.P Being an island nation dependent upon trade, the Japanese, like the British,
had every reason to pay more attention than they did to the need to protect their
vulnerable shipping lanes. However, during the inter-war years the Japanese were
guilty of placing too much emphasis on the offensive weapons of war such as
aircraft carriers and battleships to the detriment of other ship types. The
Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyers that were constructed were generally
powerful vessels and useful in the fleet role. However, they were less useful in
the convoy escort role as the Japanese failed to develop sonar and radar to the
same extent as their future enemies.
.P Once war began, the limitations of Japanese industrial capability meant that
they were not able to build the much needed specialist escort vessels in the
numbers required; and they compounded their problems by starting a destroyer
escort build program only in 1943. As a result, the IJN had to employ what
vessels they could in the escort role as their destroyer fleet started to suffer
irreplaceable losses once the war began.
.P Because these smaller ships do not have their own counter, some of the more
important non-convoy related episodes of the war that involved these ship types,
are also told within some of these write-ups.
.P This Write-up looks at the Mutsuki-class destroyers, and specifically the
Kikudsuki (sometimes referred to as Kikutsuki).
.B Engine(s) output: 38,500 hp
.B Top Speed: 37.2 knots
.B Main armament: 4 x 4.7-inch (120mm) guns, 2 x 7.7mm MG
.B Displacement (full load): 1,445 tons
.B Thickest armour: N/A
.P The Mutsukis were the second destroyer class built for the Imperial
Japanese Navy (IJN) following the end of World War I. Twelve ships were built
between 1924 and 1927 and not only did all twelve see action during World War II,
but all were lost during the conflict.
.P The details above reflect how the ships appeared upon launching, however, six
of the destroyers were converted into fast transports during 1941/42. The
remaining ships spent the war mostly in the convoy escort role.
.P The main differences, for those that were converted, were the removal of two
4.7-inch guns, the addition of ten 25mm anti-aircraft (AA) guns, and a
strengthening of their depth charge capability. Top speed was reduced by around 4
knots.
.P The ships were originally known only by numbers, but names were given to each
vessel in 1928. No.31 became Kikudsuki, which means Chrysanthemum Moon.
.P Kikudsuki was completed in May 1926. At the outbreak of war in December 1941
she was part of the 23rd Destroyer Squadron. She was part of the invasion force
that landed on Guam at the outset of the war, and then took part in the invasions
of New Ireland and New Britain in January and February 1942 (see Transport
Counter 4446). Kikudsuki assisted the invasion of New Guinea in March (see
Transport counter 4448) before transferring to the 4th Fleet the following month.
.P At the end of April she was part of the invasion fleet that seized Tulagi in
the Solomons Islands. The landing there was part of a wider operation, codenamed
Mo, that also attempted to land Japanese troops in south-eastern New Guinea (see
Shoho). This write-up will look at the Tulagi arm of the operation only.
.P Tulagi is one of the smallest islands in the Solomons chain, but in 1942, was
the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. The Solomons lie
approximately 1,500 kilometres northeast of Brisbane, Australia.
.P Following their incredible victories during the first five months of war, the
Japanese decided to try and cut the supply route between Australia and the United
States. As the first step, they decided to occupy the Solomons Islands, starting
with Tulagi.
.P Resistance on Tulagi was expected to be light, although in actual fact the
invasion was uncontested as the small Australian garrison had earlier been
evacuated. To conquer the tiny island, the Japanese deployed a detachment from
the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) together with engineers from the
7th Establishment unit. These troops were taken to the Solomons by the Tulagi
Invasion Force, commanded by Rear-Admiral Kiyohide Shima. The force consisted of
the destroyers Kikudsuki and Yuzuki, five minesweepers, two patrol boats and two
transports.
.P Two covering forces were also deployed to provide protection to the invasion
fleet; both of which would head west to assist the New Guinea operation once
Tulagi was secured. Firstly there was the MO Main Force, which consisted of the
light carrier Shoho, four heavy cruisers of the 6th Cruiser Division: Aoba, Kako,
Furutaka and Kinugasa; and one destroyer. Secondly, the Covering Force consisted
of two light cruisers from the 18th Cruiser Division, Tatsuta and Tenryu; the
seaplane carrier Kamikawa Maru, two gunboats and two minesweepers.
.P The initial landing on the 3rd May went smoothly for the Japanese, and they
set about building a seaplane base on the island. However, the US Navy carrier
Yorktown was in the Coral Sea and her captain, after learning of the Japanese
invasion, ordered Yorktown to steam north to launch a series of four air strike
against whatever targets could be found. The Japanese had no fighter protection
as Shoho and the two covering forces had sailed west immediately after the troops
were ashore in order to cover the New Guinea operation. As a result, the American
aircraft had pretty much a free hand. Five Type 97 "Mavis" flying boats, that had
been flown to Tulagi to operate from the seaplane base, were all destroyed as
were a number of minesweepers and transport vessels. Also sunk was Kikudsuki.
Although she was later raised by the Americans, she never sailed under her own
steam again, and indeed the hulk still lies off Tulagi to this day.
.P And so ended the invasion of Tulagi. But while this part of the story ends
here, the fighting in and around the waters of the Solomon Islands was only just
beginning. In the weeks to come the Japanese landed on the other islands in the
chain, including a much larger island directly south of Tulagi. On this island
the Japanese began to construct an airfield. From here, they intended to fly the
fighter and bomber aircraft that would assist the capture of islands further
south; all part of the plan to cut-off Australia. The name of this island was
Gadarukanaru, or in English - Guadalcanal.
.P The airfield was almost complete when, on the 7th August 1942, US Marines of
the 1st Division landed on both Guadalcanal and Tulagi. The Japanese did not give
Guadalcanal up without a fight, but over the course of the next six months they
were to suffer such appalling losses in men and material, that by February 1943,
evacuating the island was the only practical option left open to them.
.P Before then however, the IJN ensured that in achieving victory, their US Navy
counterparts would pay a high price. The Japanese fight-back started in earnest
on the night of the 8th/9th August and an encounter - The Battle of Savo Island -
that turned out to be the worst defeat ever suffered by the US Navy (see Kako).

_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to Extraneous)
Post #: 2158
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/6/2011 10:50:10 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 20258
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline
3rd in the Series - I wanted to get the Henderson Field story into the write-ups somehow and USS Long Island was perfect for this as it also allows the story of the USN's first CVE.

[4223 ASW Carrier]
.P These ASW counters are only used if playing with the Convoy In Flames optional
rule. The counters do not represent any specific individual convoy or any
particular ships, but are designed to represent convoy escort groups. They have
mixed values reflecting the fact that the make-up of an escort group could differ
from one convoy to the next. Examples of the main ship types that were used in
the convoy escort role during the Second World War are: escort carriers,
destroyers, destroyer escorts, corvettes, sloops and trawlers. As can be seen, a
wide variety of ship type was used in the defence of convoys.
.P In the years following the end of the First World War, the United States Navy
(USN) neglected the subject of trade protection. As a continental power, the need
for defending merchant shipping was perhaps not seen as being as important as the
ability to field a strong surface fleet; after all, it was argued, such a fleet
would sweep the oceans clear of any enemy shipping.
.P As a result of this thinking, at the time that the United States was thrust
into World War II, courtesy of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler's
subsequent declaration of war in December 1941, the USN was unprepared for large
scale trade protection operations.
.P This shortcoming was still in evidence despite the fact that elements of the
USN had been employed on convoy defence duty since the start of the war in
Europe. On the 4th September 1939 President Roosevelt ordered the setting up of a
"Neutrality Patrol", under which USN ships were initially tasked with tracking
and reporting the movements of belligerent naval vessels in the Atlantic Ocean.
As time went on however, and with the USA still neutral, USN ships took part in
convoy escort operations as far eastward as Iceland.
.P The escorts were ostensibly to protect American shipping, but in actual fact,
stretched US neutrality to the limit, and indeed led to the loss of the destroyer
Reuben James to a German U-boat in October 1941.
.P Fortunately for the Americans, when war came in the Pacific, the Japanese were
not in any position to take advantage of the USN's unpreparedness. The IJN
submarine service proved a largely impotent force, and in any case, the Japanese
high command simply did not appreciate the value of attacking the Allied shipping
that took troops and supplies from the US to Australia and numerous Pacific
islands; strongpoints from which the Americans and their Allies would launch
their comeback against the Japanese.
.P Sadly, in the North Atlantic, the USN were punished more severely. German
U-boats inflicted many months of pain on Allied merchant shipping sailing along
the US East Coast before the USN got on top of the situation.
.P During this second "Happy Time" for the German U-boat crews, they were able to
take advantage of the US decision not to mount convoys in those waters. However,
a combination of US industrial strength and capable administrators and naval
personnel, meant that before long the Germans were on the back foot once more.
.P During 1942/43, wave after wave of escort carriers, destroyer escorts and
patrol frigates were built in US shipyards. Merchant shipping not only benefited
from an ever increasing number of escort vessels, but also from the increased
effectiveness of those escorts, as better anti-aircraft (AA) and anti-submarine
(ASW) capability was developed.
.P Convoy protection work was extremely tough, hazardous work but had none of the
glamour that was associated with the carriers and battleships of the fleet. But
the work was vital, and thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of those sailors and
airmen that undertook these operations, thousands of essential troop and supply
movements were completed, enabling the Allies to take the war to the enemy on
both sides of the world.
.P Note, the date on the back of these ASW and ASW Carrier counters do not relate
in any meaningful way to actual build dates for the ships that took undertook the
convoy escort role during World War II. The counter date should therefore be
ignored. These ASW counters are also used to tell some of the more important, non
-convoy related, episodes of the war that involved these smaller vessels.
.P This write-up looks at the first escort carrier to enter service with the USN,
USS Long Island.
.B Engine(s) output: 8,500 hp
.B Top Speed: 16.5 knots
.B Main armament: 1 x 4-inch (102mm), 2 x 3-inch (76mm) guns
.B Aircraft: 16
.B Displacement (full load): 15,126 tons
.B Thickest armour: N/a
.P USS Long Island began life as the merchant vessel Mormacmail, a cargo
vessel built under a USMC contract (see US Transport Counters) for the Moore-
McCormack Line. Having been laid down in July 1939, she was requisitioned by the
USN for conversion into an escort aircraft carrier. This work was completed in
June 1941.
.P The need for these small, relatively cheap, aircraft carriers was recognised
by the USN at around the same time as the British Royal Navy came to the same
conclusion. Both navies first escort carriers were commissioned at almost exactly
the same time, USS Long Island beating HMS Audacity by two weeks.
.P USS Long Island's aircraft complement was a modest sixteen aircraft, and these
were operated using a single catapult. Given their expected role, speed was not
essential for these ships, and USS Long Island could achieve just over sixteen
knots which was to be the standard for future escort carriers.
.P Armament was basic, although as the war progressed, her AA capability was
strengthened. USS Long Island was named after the island in New York State.
.P USS Long Island was completed in June 1941. She was initially deployed on the
Atlantic seaboard, from where she was essentially used as a test bed for future
escort carrier designs.
.P In the months leading up to America's entry into the war the USN were adopting
an ever more belligerent approach to the defence of merchant shipping in the
western Atlantic. At the end of August Long Island was deployed in search of a
German surface raider believed to be at large. The reports proved to be false
however.
.P However, six months later, the United States were in the war in earnest
following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Long Island was then used to
transport supplies to the Pacific theatre.
.P The Americans invaded the Solomon Islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in August
1942; the first major step in pushing the Japanese back in the Pacific. However,
despite the initial landings proceeding smoothly (see Transport Counter 4247) the
bloody campaign on Guadalcanal was to last almost six months. Following their
victory at the Battle of Savo Island (see USS Vincennes) the Japanese had mastery
of the waters around the island at night. But the daylight hours belonged to the
USN. This was initially due to the presence of a three-strong aircraft carrier
group, commanded by Rear-Admiral Frank Fletcher, operating off Guadalcanal. More
importantly in the long term though, was the presence of fighter and bomber
aircraft on Guadalcanal itself. Having captured a partly completed airfield that
the Japanese were constructing, the US Marines on the island quickly set about
completing it. They named the airstrip Henderson Field in honour of Marine Major
Lofton R. Henderson who had led one of the air attacks against the Japanese
carrier force in the early stages of the Battle of Midway.
.P The first two squadrons of aircraft delivered to Henderson Field, were
delivered by USS Long Island on the 20th August; nineteen Wildcat fighters of
VMF-223 and twelve Dauntless dive-bombers from VMSB-232. The addition of land
based air power was to prove vital in ensuring that the Japanese would never get
close to defeating the Marines.
.P Having succeeded in delivering her much needed cargo, Long Island left the
southwest Pacific and sailed for San Diego, California. From there, she was used
to train new pilots in the art of taking off and landing from the deck of a
carrier.
.P This work ended in 1944, at which time Long Island was used for ferry duty,
delivering aircraft to US bases all over the Pacific. It was in this role that
the USN's first escort carrier ended her war.
.P At the end of the war Long Island was used in Operation Margic Carpet - the
ferrying home of troops from overseas. She was then decommissioned in March 1946.
After leaving service with the USN, she returned to civilian life, under-going
numerous name changes before ending up as a students' floating hostel in Holland.
.P USS Long Island was scrapped in 1977.


< Message edited by warspite1 -- 11/6/2011 10:53:11 AM >


_____________________________

England expects that every man will do his duty - Horatio Nelson 1805.




(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 2159
RE: Unit Descriptions: Air, Naval, Land - 11/6/2011 12:31:32 PM   
Extraneous

 

Posts: 1684
Joined: 6/14/2008
Status: offline
[4427 ASW Escort]
.P The date on the back of these ASW and ASW Carrier counters do not relate in
any meaningful way to actual build dates for the ships that took undertook the
convoy escort role during World War II. The counter date should therefore be
ignored.
.P These counters do not represent an individual convoy or any specific ships,
but are designed to represent convoy escort groups. They have mixed values
reflecting the fact that the make-up of an escort group could differ from one
convoy to the next.
.P Being an island nation dependent upon trade, the Japanese, like the British,
had every reason to pay more attention than they did to the need to protect their
vulnerable shipping lanes. However, during the inter-war years the Japanese were
guilty of placing too much emphasis on the offensive weapons of war such as
aircraft carriers and battleships to the detriment of other ship types. The
Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) destroyers that were constructed were generally
powerful vessels and useful in the fleet role. However, they were less useful in
the convoy escort role as the Japanese failed to develop sonar and radar to the
same extent as their future enemies.
.P Once war began, the limitations of Japanese industrial capability meant that
they were not able to build the much needed specialist escort vessels in the
numbers required; and they compounded their problems by starting a destroyer
escort build program only in 1943. As a result, the IJN had to employ what
vessels they could in the escort role as their destroyer fleet started to suffer
irreplaceable losses once the war began.
.P Because these smaller ships do not have their own counter, some of the more
important non-convoy related episodes of the war that involved these ship types,
are also told within some of these write-ups.
.P This Write-up looks at the Mutsuki-class destroyers, and specifically the
Kikudsuki (sometimes referred to as Kikutsuki).
.B Engine(s) output: 38,500 hp
.B Top Speed: 37.2 knots
.B Main armament: 4 x 4.7-inch (120mm) guns, 2 x 7.7mm MG
.B Displacement (full load): 1,445 tons
.B Thickest armour: N/A
.P The Mutsukis were the second destroyer class built for the Imperial
Japanese Navy (IJN) following the end of World War I. Twelve ships were built
between 1924 and 1927 and not only did all twelve see action during World War II,
but all were lost during the conflict.
.P The details above reflect how the ships appeared upon launching, however, six
of the destroyers were converted into fast transports during 1941/42. The
remaining ships spent the war mostly in the convoy escort role.
.P The main differences, for those that were converted, were the removal of two
4.7-inch guns, the addition of ten 25mm anti-aircraft (AA) guns, and a
strengthening of their depth charge capability. Top speed was reduced by around 4
knots.
.P The ships were originally known only by numbers, but names were given to each
vessel in 1928. No.31 became Kikudsuki, which means Chrysanthemum Moon.
.P Kikudsuki was completed in May 1926. At the outbreak of war in December 1941
she was part of the 23rd Destroyer Squadron. She was part of the invasion force
that landed on Guam at the outset of the war, and then took part in the invasions
of New Ireland and New Britain in January and February 1942 (see Transport
Counter 4446). Kikudsuki assisted the invasion of New Guinea in March (see
Transport counter 4448) before transferring to the 4th Fleet the following month.
.P At the end of April she was part of the invasion fleet that seized Tulagi in
the Solomons Islands. The landing there was part of a wider operation, codenamed
Mo, that also attempted to land Japanese troops in southeastern New Guinea (see
Shoho). This write-up will look at the Tulagi arm of the operation only.
.P Tulagi is one of the smallest islands in the Solomons chain, but in 1942, was
the capital of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. The Solomons lie
approximately 1,500 kilometres northeast of Brisbane, Australia.
.P Following their incredible victories during the first five months of war, the
Japanese decided to try and cut the supply route between Australia and the United
States. As the first step, they decided to occupy the Solomons Islands, starting
with Tulagi.
.P Resistance on Tulagi was expected to be light, although in actual fact the
invasion was uncontested as the small Australian garrison had earlier been
evacuated. To conquer the tiny island, the Japanese deployed a detachment from
the 3rd Kure Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) together with engineers from the
7th Establishment unit. The Tulagi Invasion Force, commanded by Rear-Admiral Kiyohide Shima, took these troops to the Solomons.
The force consisted of the destroyers Kikudsuki and Yuzuki, five minesweepers, two patrol boats and two
transports.
.P Two covering forces were also deployed to provide protection to the invasion
fleet; both of which would head west to assist the New Guinea operation once
Tulagi was secured. Firstly there was the MO Main Force, which consisted of the
light carrier Shoho, four heavy cruisers of the 6th Cruiser Division: Aoba, Kako,
Furutaka and Kinugasa; and one destroyer. Secondly, the Covering Force consisted
of two light cruisers from the 18th Cruiser Division, Tatsuta and Tenryu; the
seaplane carrier Kamikawa Maru, two gunboats and two minesweepers.
.P The initial landing on the 3rd May went smoothly for the Japanese, and they
set about building a seaplane base on the island. However, the US Navy carrier
Yorktown was in the Coral Sea and her captain, after learning of the Japanese
invasion, ordered Yorktown to steam north to launch a series of four air strike
against whatever targets could be found. The Japanese had no fighter protection
as Shoho and the two covering forces had sailed west immediately after the troops
were ashore in order to cover the New Guinea operation. As a result, the American
aircraft had pretty much a free hand. Five Type 97 "Mavis" flying boats that had
been flown to Tulagi to operate from the seaplane base were all destroyed as
were a number of minesweepers and transport vessels.
Also sunk was Kikudsuki.
Although the Americans later raised her, she never sailed under her own
steam again, and indeed the hulk still lies off Tulagi to this day.
.P And so ended the invasion of Tulagi. But while this part of the story ends
here, the fighting in and around the waters of the Solomon Islands was only just
beginning. In the weeks to come the Japanese landed on the other islands in the
chain, including a much larger island directly south of Tulagi. On this island
the Japanese began to construct an airfield. From here, they intended to fly the
fighter and bomber aircraft that would assist the capture of islands further
south; all part of the plan to cut-off Australia. The name of this island was
Gadarukanaru, or in English - Guadalcanal.
.P The airfield was almost complete when, on the 7th August 1942, US Marines of
the 1st Division landed on both Guadalcanal and Tulagi. The Japanese did not give
Guadalcanal up without a fight, but over the course of the next six months they
were to suffer such appalling losses in men and material, that by February 1943,
evacuating the island was the only practical option left open to them.
.P Before then however, the IJN ensured that in achieving victory, their US Navy
counterparts would pay a high price. The Japanese fight-back started in earnest
on the night of the 8th/9th August and an encounter - The Battle of Savo Island -
that turned out to be the worst defeat ever suffered by the US Navy (see Kako).



[4223 ASW Carrier]
.P These ASW counters are only used if playing with the Convoy In Flames optional
rule. The counters do not represent any specific individual convoy or any
particular ships, but are designed to represent convoy escort groups. They have
mixed values reflecting the fact that the make-up of an escort group could differ
from one convoy to the next. Examples of the main ship types that were used in
the convoy escort role during the Second World War are: escort carriers,
destroyers, destroyer escorts, corvettes, sloops and trawlers. As can be seen, a
wide variety of ship type was used in the defence of convoys.
.P In the years following the end of the First World War, the United States Navy
(USN) neglected the subject of trade protection. As a continental power, the need
for defending merchant shipping was perhaps not seen as being as important as the
ability to field a strong surface fleet; after all, it was argued, such a fleet
would sweep the oceans clear of any enemy shipping.
.P As a result of this thinking, at the time that the United States was thrust
into World War II, courtesy of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler's
subsequent declaration of war in December 1941, the USN was unprepared for large
scale trade protection operations.
.P This shortcoming was still in evidence despite the fact that elements of the
USN had been employed on convoy defence duty since the start of the war in
Europe. On the 4th September 1939 President Roosevelt ordered the setting up of a
"Neutrality Patrol", under which USN ships were initially tasked with tracking
and reporting the movements of belligerent naval vessels in the Atlantic Ocean.
As time went on however, and with the USA still neutral, USN ships took part in
convoy escort operations as far eastward as Iceland.
.P The escorts were ostensibly to protect American shipping, but in actual fact,
stretched US neutrality to the limit, and indeed led to the loss of the destroyer
Reuben James to a German U-boat in October 1941.
.P Fortunately for the Americans, when war came in the Pacific, the Japanese were
not in any position to take advantage of the USN’s unpreparedness. The IJN
submarine service proved a largely impotent force, and in any case, the Japanese
high command simply did not appreciate the value of attacking the Allied shipping
that took troops and supplies from the US to Australia and numerous Pacific
islands; strongpoints from which the Americans and their Allies would launch
their comeback against the Japanese.
.P Sadly, in the North Atlantic, the USN were punished more severely. German
U-boats inflicted many months of pain on Allied merchant shipping sailing along
the US East Coast before the USN got on top of the situation.
.P During this second "Happy Time" for the German U-boat crews, they were able to
take advantage of the US decision not to mount convoys in those waters. However,
a combination of US industrial strength and capable administrators and naval
personnel, meant that before long the Germans were on the back foot once more.
.P During 1942/43, wave after wave of escort carriers, destroyer escorts and
patrol frigates were built in US shipyards. Merchant shipping not only benefited
from an ever increasing number of escort vessels, but also from the increased
effectiveness of those escorts, as better anti-aircraft (AA) and anti-submarine
(ASW) capability was developed.
.P Convoy protection work was extremely tough, hazardous work but had none of the
glamour that was associated with the carriers and battleships of the fleet. But
the work was vital, and thanks to the bravery and sacrifice of those sailors and
airmen that undertook these operations, thousands of essential troop and supply
movements were completed, enabling the Allies to take the war to the enemy on
both sides of the world.
.P Note, the date on the back of these ASW and ASW Carrier counters do not relate
in any meaningful way to actual build dates for the ships that took undertook the
convoy escort role during World War II. The counter date should therefore be
ignored. These ASW counters are also used to tell some of the more important, non
-convoy related, episodes of the war that involved these smaller vessels.
.P This write-up looks at the first escort carrier to enter service with the USN,
USS Long Island.
.B Engine(s) output: 8,500 hp
.B Top Speed: 16.5 knots
.B Main armament: 1 x 4-inch (102mm), 2 x 3-inch (76mm) guns
.B Aircraft: 16
.B Displacement (full load): 15,126 tons
.B Thickest armour: N/a
.P USS Long Island began life as the merchant vessel Mormacmail, a cargo
vessel built under a USMC contract (see US Transport Counters) for the Moore-
McCormack Line. Having been laid down in July 1939, she was requisitioned by the
USN for conversion into an escort aircraft carrier. This work was completed in
June 1941.
.P The need for these small, relatively cheap, aircraft carriers was recognised
by the USN at around the same time as the British Royal Navy came to the same
conclusion. Both navies’ first escort carriers were commissioned at almost exactly
the same time, USS Long Island beating HMS Audacity by two weeks.
.P USS Long Island's aircraft complement was a modest sixteen aircraft, and these
were operated using a single catapult. Given their expected role, speed was not
essential for these ships, and USS Long Island could achieve just over sixteen
knots, which was to be the standard for future escort carriers.
.P Armament was basic, although as the war progressed, her AA capability was
strengthened. USS Long Island was named after the island in New York State.
.P USS Long Island was completed in June 1941. She was initially deployed on the
Atlantic seaboard, from where she was essentially used as a test bed for future
escort carrier designs.
.P In the months leading up to America's entry into the war the USN were adopting
an ever more belligerent approach to the defence of merchant shipping in the
western Atlantic. At the end of August Long Island was deployed in search of a
German surface raider believed to be at large. The reports proved to be false
however.
.P However, six months later, the United States were in the war in earnest
following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Long Island was then used to
transport supplies to the Pacific theatre.
.P The Americans invaded the Solomon Islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi in August
1942; the first major step in pushing the Japanese back in the Pacific. However,
despite the initial landings proceeding smoothly (see Transport Counter 4247) the
bloody campaign on Guadalcanal was to last almost six months. Following their
victory at the Battle of Savo Island (see USS Vincennes) the Japanese had mastery
of the waters around the island at night. But the daylight hours belonged to the
USN. This was initially due to the presence of a three-strong aircraft carrier
group, commanded by Rear-Admiral Frank Fletcher, operating off Guadalcanal. More
importantly in the long term though, was the presence of fighter and bomber
aircraft on Guadalcanal itself. Having captured a partly completed airfield that
the Japanese were constructing, the US Marines on the island quickly set about
completing it. They named the airstrip Henderson Field in honour of Marine Major
Lofton R. Henderson who had led one of the air attacks against the Japanese
carrier force in the early stages of the Battle of Midway.
.P The first two squadrons of aircraft delivered to Henderson Field, were
delivered by USS Long Island on the 20th August; nineteen Wildcat fighters of
VMF-223 and twelve Dauntless dive-bombers from VMSB-232. The addition of
land-based air power was to prove vital in ensuring that the Japanese would never get
close to defeating the Marines.
.P Having succeeded in delivering her much needed cargo, Long Island left the
southwest Pacific and sailed for San Diego, California. From there, she was used
to train new pilots in the art of taking off and landing from the deck of a
carrier.
.P This work ended in 1944, at which time Long Island was used for ferry duty,
delivering aircraft to US bases all over the Pacific. It was in this role that
the USN's first escort carrier ended her war.
.P At the end of the war Long Island was used in Operation Magic Carpet - the
ferrying home of troops from overseas. She was then decommissioned in March 1946.
After leaving service with the USN, she returned to civilian life, under-going
numerous name changes before ending up as a students' floating hostel in Holland.
.P USS Long Island was scrapped in 1977.



< Message edited by Extraneous -- 11/6/2011 12:45:43 PM >


_____________________________

University of Science Music and Culture (USMC) class of 71 and 72 ~ Extraneous (AKA Mziln)

(in reply to warspite1)
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