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OT: sinking speed of merchants

 
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OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 12:33:33 AM   
wild_Willie2


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Hi there.

I was just watching "das boot" (again) and noticed that most merchants in the movie ( and in the book, which I also read) sink almost immediatly after being torpedoed by a single torpedo. I recently started playing SH4 again, and noticed that most merchants in that game need A LOT more damage than 1 torpedo inflicts before they sink .

In WITP it is the same, most transports need more than a singel torpedo before they sink. Even taking into account the relative "small" warheads of aerial torpedo's.

So, which model is right ?.

The 1 shot 1 kill model in "das Boot" or the multiple hits model in WITP en SH4 ??

< Message edited by wild_Willie2 -- 7/14/2007 12:49:31 AM >


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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 12:49:38 AM   
witpqs

 

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From what I have read, there were many times when merchants required more than one torpedo. There were even times when a properly functioning torpedo did only minor damage. It was surprising to me that even a vulnerable ship could get away lightly if the torpedo happened to impact on a beam (I might be using the wrong marine architecture terminology here). So, more than one torpedo happened plenty.

Having said that, it is also very true - and expressed by Matrix - that the damage and sinking (flood & fire, not sys) model in the game is stretched out. Meaning that most sinkings that would in real life take place even before the next orders phase (i.e. during the turn), take up to several days in the game. I believe they said this was for effect so that people could see better what was going on. Mostly it seems to have no net effect, but once in a while a ship will make port that no way would have.

BTW, the same is true for warships. Consider how at times people struggle to get a damaged carrier to port only to have it sink on the way. If they modeled the way it actually happens, then after a battle almost 100% of the time when the next orders phase rolled around the carrier would either be 1) already sunk or 2) damaged but with fires and flooding gone (or trivial).

Not defending the design decision, just recalling it as best I can from old posts to answer your question.

(in reply to wild_Willie2)
Post #: 2
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 1:58:38 AM   
niceguy2005


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That is a really good question wild Wille. I can see how it might be highly variable depending on where the torp strikes.

Just out of curiousity how many torpedos did Indianapolis take?

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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 2:36:10 AM   
BrucePowers


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I think (or feel howver you want to state it) that 1 torpedo would sink most merchant ships. I think WITP is a little off here. This is just my opinion.

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Post #: 4
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 2:47:45 AM   
scout1


Posts: 1747
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From: South Bend, In
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quote:

ORIGINAL: wild_Willie2

Hi there.

I was just watching "das boot" (again) and noticed that most merchants in the movie ( and in the book, which I also read) sink almost immediatly after being torpedoed by a single torpedo. I recently started playing SH4 again, and noticed that most merchants in that game need A LOT more damage than 1 torpedo inflicts before they sink .

In WITP it is the same, most transports need more than a singel torpedo before they sink. Even taking into account the relative "small" warheads of aerial torpedo's.

So, which model is right ?.

The 1 shot 1 kill model in "das Boot" or the multiple hits model in WITP en SH4 ??



I hate to burst your bubble here, but the answer is really quite simple .......
The BIGGER the hole, the faster they sink .....

(in reply to wild_Willie2)
Post #: 5
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 2:48:07 AM   
1EyedJacks


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quote:

ORIGINAL: wild_Willie2

Hi there.

I was just watching "das boot" (again) and noticed that most merchants in the movie ( and in the book, which I also read) sink almost immediatly after being torpedoed by a single torpedo. I recently started playing SH4 again, and noticed that most merchants in that game need A LOT more damage than 1 torpedo inflicts before they sink .

In WITP it is the same, most transports need more than a singel torpedo before they sink. Even taking into account the relative "small" warheads of aerial torpedo's.

So, which model is right ?.

The 1 shot 1 kill model in "das Boot" or the multiple hits model in WITP en SH4 ??


Use the scuttle button - it'll go down quick!

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TTFN,

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Post #: 6
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 2:48:08 AM   
witpqs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BrucePowers

I think (or feel howver you want to state it) that 1 torpedo would sink most merchant ships. I think WITP is a little off here. This is just my opinion.


I feel you are right. Time is a factor also. Sometimes sub captains would put another into a ship when it wasn't sinking fast enough, or perhaps they couldn't be certain it would sink without another. There were also times when a ship was hit initially by more than one.

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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 2:51:58 AM   
witpqs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: niceguy2005

That is a really good question wild Wille. I can see how it might be highly variable depending on where the torp strikes.

Just out of curiousity how many torpedos did Indianapolis take?


One historian on a TV special about Indianapolis said he feels certain that four kaitens (spelling?) were used, in spite of the sub captain's claim that he never used them. He cited the sub leaving port with four and returning with none, and no record of them.

Did the kaitens carry larger charges than the other large-size Japanese torpedoes?

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Post #: 8
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 2:54:51 AM   
RUPD3658


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As Japan I have lost several AK/TK to single torp hits. It may take them a day or two to sink but most that were hit sunk.

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Post #: 9
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 3:02:49 AM   
irrelevant


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Indianapolis was hit by two torpedoes. She was at condition "Yoke" rather than "Zed"; many w/t doors were not closed.

Type 93 torps had 490 kg warheads (a later version had a 780 kg warhead). Sub-launched torps were in the 300-400 kg range.

A kaiten warhead was 1550 kg.

< Message edited by irrelevant -- 7/14/2007 3:22:30 AM >


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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 3:08:27 AM   
witpqs

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: irrelevant

Indianapolis was hit by two torpedoes. She was at condition "Yoke" rather than "Zed"; many w/t doors were not closed.


Thanks.

I know how TV shows are so I wasn't banking on his feeling being accurate. Can you say where the two torpedo account came from (crewman, divers on wreck, etc.)?

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Post #: 11
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 3:21:30 AM   
irrelevant


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Survivors accounts.

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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 4:14:49 AM   
Gregg

 

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WitP handles torpedoes poorly.
Take destroyers, normally in real life, one hit and it is gone.
There were a couple cases during WWII where a Tin Can took a torpedo and did not sink.
But every time when that happened, the ship was hit at the bow or stern, blowing that part of the ship off.
More often than not, the ship that stayed afloat after a torpeado hit was hit in the stern, rendering it totally dead in the water. Destroyers hit in the bow while moving at any speed, sank due to the bulkheads collapsing due to the water pressure on the bulkhead caused by the forward speed thru the water.
I'm aware of only one Destroyer taking two torpedoes and staying afloat, well about 2/3's of the destroyer stayed afloat. That destroyer had both the bow and stern blown off, was was left dead in the water.

In WitP, playing Japanese, I have very often had destroyers take a torpedo hit, end up with 25% or less flood damage and sail back to port at 20 knots or more.
Historically, that is just not real.

Gregg

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Post #: 13
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 4:21:56 AM   
Nikademus


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Merchants from UV days have always been way too durable. Mainly due to there being no differentiation between FLT damage potential of a merchant and a warship. (in terms of compartmentalization or vulnerability to damage from the cargo, or the training in damage control of the crew)

A 2nd weakness is FIRE in the game. Anemic for both warship and merchants but esp merchants. During the Lunga campaign it was not unusual for a single bomb strike on a Maru to disable it or cause an uncontrollable fire that may or may not feed off of the cargo being carried.

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Post #: 14
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 5:58:50 AM   
Mike Scholl

 

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One torpedo hit was in general enough to sink an average merchantman.   Mainly because they were designed to handle maximum cargo loads rather than battle damage.   Which means they had nothing like the internal compartmentalization of a warship..., and larger compartments allow more flooding.   They also lacked the manpower for "damage control partys".   Of course their are always exceptions (like a ship carrying a cargo of balsa wood), but the record I've seen over the years seem to indicate that more than half of the merchantmen sunk in WW II succomed to a single torpedo (sometimes supplimented with some deck gun activity from the sub).

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Post #: 15
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 4:38:09 PM   
rogueusmc


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In Das Boot, they refer to 'breaking her back' most of the time...a hit that nailed the keel and the merchant came apart because her back was broken. it's own weight did her in when the keen broke.

Lee

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Post #: 16
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 4:47:59 PM   
Mike Scholl

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogueusmc

In Das Boot, they refer to 'breaking her back' most of the time...a hit that nailed the keel and the merchant came apart because her back was broken. it's own weight did her in when the keel broke.

Lee



That was why everyone was so interested in a "magnetic exploder" for torpedos. Made "one torpedo, one ship" a virtual certainty. Still, one hit was enough to do the job over half the time....

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Post #: 17
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 5:51:18 PM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1EyedJacks


quote:

ORIGINAL: wild_Willie2

Hi there.

I was just watching "das boot" (again) and noticed that most merchants in the movie ( and in the book, which I also read) sink almost immediatly after being torpedoed by a single torpedo. I recently started playing SH4 again, and noticed that most merchants in that game need A LOT more damage than 1 torpedo inflicts before they sink .

In WITP it is the same, most transports need more than a singel torpedo before they sink. Even taking into account the relative "small" warheads of aerial torpedo's.

So, which model is right ?.

The 1 shot 1 kill model in "das Boot" or the multiple hits model in WITP en SH4 ??


Use the scuttle button - it'll go down quick!



most times you can´t use the scuttle button after one torp as it´s only available when a certain amount of damage is reached!


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Post #: 18
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 11:47:57 PM   
wdolson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

From what I have read, there were many times when merchants required more than one torpedo. There were even times when a properly functioning torpedo did only minor damage. It was surprising to me that even a vulnerable ship could get away lightly if the torpedo happened to impact on a beam (I might be using the wrong marine architecture terminology here). So, more than one torpedo happened plenty.

Having said that, it is also very true - and expressed by Matrix - that the damage and sinking (flood & fire, not sys) model in the game is stretched out. Meaning that most sinkings that would in real life take place even before the next orders phase (i.e. during the turn), take up to several days in the game. I believe they said this was for effect so that people could see better what was going on. Mostly it seems to have no net effect, but once in a while a ship will make port that no way would have.

BTW, the same is true for warships. Consider how at times people struggle to get a damaged carrier to port only to have it sink on the way. If they modeled the way it actually happens, then after a battle almost 100% of the time when the next orders phase rolled around the carrier would either be 1) already sunk or 2) damaged but with fires and flooding gone (or trivial).

Not defending the design decision, just recalling it as best I can from old posts to answer your question.


One problem I've seen from this model is that ships that would have sunk within hours in the real world become bomber magnets for many days afterwards. Opportunities to do damage to other ships in the task force are lost because subsequent bomber strikes concentrate on the already crippled ship.

Another crazy thing is that crippled ships with 0 or very low movement points can outrun 30 kt warships when attacked in a surface battle.

Bill

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Post #: 19
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/14/2007 11:55:46 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: niceguy2005

That is a really good question wild Wille. I can see how it might be highly variable depending on where the torp strikes.

Just out of curiousity how many torpedos did Indianapolis take?


Four.

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Post #: 20
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/16/2007 8:24:47 PM   
pbear

 

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Depends on the cargo, a ship full of machinery will sink a lot faster than a ship full of cork. With the same size hole.

Q-Ships use to use cork as cargo so that they could keep afloat even after being torpedoed, just to get the sub.

And we are not even going to mention ammunition ships.......



< Message edited by pbear -- 7/16/2007 8:25:40 PM >

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Post #: 21
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 2:14:11 AM   
rtrapasso


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Early in the war, 1 torp was enough to sink most merchants...

Later in the war, the US (and presumably other Allies) started building merchies with shock mounted equipment. This caused these ships to be much more resistant to torpedoes (supposedly). Before the shock mounting, the force of an explosion would knock machinery off its mounts, causing power failure and loss of pumping capacity. The ship would usually founder as a result.

If you read the accounts of U-boat campaign, the Allied Merchies become more and more resistant to torpedoes as the war progressed, esp. after mid-1943.


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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 2:50:32 AM   
MineSweeper


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Even Tankers were tough to take down with one torpedo....read one account that a U-boat hit a dynamite cargo ship(5,000 tons of TNT) with one torpedo in the Gulf of Mexico....the ship sunk and was going down to the bottom and Kaboom, the U-boat was seriously damaged.....

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RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 2:56:46 AM   
rogueusmc


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MineSweeper

Even Tankers were tough to take down with one torpedo....read one account that a U-boat hit a dynamite cargo ship(5,000 tons of TNT) with one torpedo in the Gulf of Mexico....the ship sunk and was going down to the bottom and Kaboom, the U-boat was seriously damaged.....

I it turn it's belly up?...

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Post #: 24
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 7:27:29 AM   
mlees


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From Nelson to Vanguard, Warship design and development, 1923-1945, by D. K. Brown, Naval Institute Press, ISBN 1-59114-602-x, pg 159:

quote:

Of 134 ships hit by one torpedo, 99 sank, and of the 35 which reached port, 17 were not repaired (ie constructive total loss). The smaller ships, corvettes and frigates, had little chance of surviving, and, in fact, only 2 out of 34 got home. Destroyes did a little better with 11 out of 48 surviving, and if the smaller, older ships are omitted, these figures improve to 11 out of 39. However, of the 10 repaired, none rejoined in less than 8 months. Of 15 destroyers hit by two torpedoes, 2 survived, while, not surprisingly, both those hit by three torpedoes sank. The sloops and frigates did even better with nearly half surviving (22 out of 47), and three of those lost were scuttled for immediate tactical reasons. That 16 were not repaired was due to the ready availability of replacements.


He is speaking only of the RN warship experience, here, not merchant ships.

The author eventually explains why more sloops and frigates survived two torpedoes than destroyers. From page 163, "back breaking":

quote:

Not surprisingly, there is an indication that the more highly-stressed ships were more likely to break their back. The most vulnerable ships were destroyers, highly stressed, and with a break of forecastle amidships which would much increase the stress locally. They were also shallow, keel to deck, which meant that a hit would destroy a higher proportion of the hull girder than in a deeper ship. The converse of this is seen in the sloops with low stress and a deep hull. USN experience is somewhat similar, of 30 sunk by above water attack, 6 broke their back (37%), whilst of 27 sunk by underwater weapons, 19 (70%) broke their back.
 

I am a bit hazy, at the moment, on were to find the stats for the damages inflicted by the US Silent Service on the Japanese...

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Post #: 25
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 5:00:52 PM   
msieving1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mlees

I am a bit hazy, at the moment, on were to find the stats for the damages inflicted by the US Silent Service on the Japanese...


I don't have any stats, but the Naval Historical Center has a 1944 manual of US submarine doctrine online. In chapter 4, section 6, paragraph 4614, there's a table that shows the expected number of torpedo hits required to sink various types of ships. A merchant ship is expected to need two hits to ensure sinking. The manual does note, though, that this is higly variable depending on circumstances.


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Post #: 26
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 5:25:52 PM   
Charbroiled


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MineSweeper

Even Tankers were tough to take down with one torpedo....read one account that a U-boat hit a dynamite cargo ship(5,000 tons of TNT) with one torpedo in the Gulf of Mexico....the ship sunk and was going down to the bottom and Kaboom, the U-boat was seriously damaged.....


I don't have the book (Operation Drumbeat) with me, but IIRC, there was a tanker hit by 2 torpedos off of the East Coast of the US. The crew started to abandon ship and the ship started sinking. The U-boat commander, thinking he had a kill, and afraid to still be in the area at sunup left the scene. Th crew reboarded the ship and managed to make it to port.

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Post #: 27
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 5:57:17 PM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Charbroiled


quote:

ORIGINAL: MineSweeper

Even Tankers were tough to take down with one torpedo....read one account that a U-boat hit a dynamite cargo ship(5,000 tons of TNT) with one torpedo in the Gulf of Mexico....the ship sunk and was going down to the bottom and Kaboom, the U-boat was seriously damaged.....


I don't have the book (Operation Drumbeat) with me, but IIRC, there was a tanker hit by 2 torpedos off of the East Coast of the US. The crew started to abandon ship and the ship started sinking. The U-boat commander, thinking he had a kill, and afraid to still be in the area at sunup left the scene. Th crew reboarded the ship and managed to make it to port.



Tankers often (usually?) could withstand more than 1 torp, unless they were carrying something like avgas. This is especially true when travelling in ballast (i.e. without cargo).

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Post #: 28
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 6:15:00 PM   
Feinder


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quote:

ORIGINAL: mlees
I am a bit hazy, at the moment, on were to find the stats for the damages inflicted by the US Silent Service on the Japanese...


JANAC records for tonnage credited to each US Submarine. If you go to the home page, it's also a very comprehensive (excellent) site.

JANAC Records for each USN sub

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Post #: 29
RE: OT: sinking speed of merchants - 7/17/2007 6:36:28 PM   
rtrapasso


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Feinder

quote:

ORIGINAL: mlees
I am a bit hazy, at the moment, on were to find the stats for the damages inflicted by the US Silent Service on the Japanese...


JANAC records for tonnage credited to each US Submarine. If you go to the home page, it's also a very comprehensive (excellent) site.

JANAC Records for each USN sub



Unfortunately, like many reports done just at the close of the war, there are some really glaring inaccuracies in it, so take it all with a (very large) pinch of salt...

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Post #: 30
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