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Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? (and strafing)

 
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All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> War In The Pacific - Struggle Against Japan 1941 - 1945 >> Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? (and strafing) Page: [1]
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Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? (and strafing) - 8/11/2009 8:56:18 AM   
Sarconix

 

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The subject basically says it all: IRL, why would you use skip bombing instead of torpedoes, and vice versa? The Wikipedia article on skip bombing doesn't really touch on this point.

Just more historical curiosity motivated by WITP... thanks!

EDIT: Also, some interesting discussion of strafing below.

< Message edited by Sarconix -- 8/13/2009 4:43:20 AM >
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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/11/2009 9:52:00 AM   
JeffK


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Torpedos were pretty rare, especially in the SWPA whereas 250/500lbers were readily available. I would also surmise the bombs were a lot cheaper than tops and easier to service.

The aircraft used mostly, the A20 & B25 were not usually equipped to carry torps and their crews not trained in their use (usually)

US Torps had a high dud rate.

If you are at sea level hitting the enemy with 8 x 50cals you might as well drop some bombs on them.

Never trust wikipedia unless you can confirn the info elsewhere/


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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/11/2009 12:06:00 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarconix

The subject basically says it all: IRL, why would you use skip bombing instead of torpedoes, and vice versa? The Wikipedia article on skip bombing doesn't really touch on this point.

Just more historical curiosity motivated by WITP... thanks!



Torpedoes against capital ships; skip bombing against anything without underwater protection (i.e., cruisers and below).

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/11/2009 5:15:33 PM   
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You would probably use the tatic with ships that were not equipped to carry torpedoes....

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/11/2009 6:02:46 PM   
Sarconix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK
If you are at sea level hitting the enemy with 8 x 50cals you might as well drop some bombs on them.


Perhaps a newbie question... but what kind of attack is this? Is it sensible to strafe ships with machine guns? Is this modeled in WITP?

quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin
Torpedoes against capital ships; skip bombing against anything without underwater protection (i.e., cruisers and below).


Do you mean torpedo belts (which I have heard of, but don't know much about), or something else?

Thanks for the answers!

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/11/2009 6:39:31 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarconix

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK
If you are at sea level hitting the enemy with 8 x 50cals you might as well drop some bombs on them.


Perhaps a newbie question... but what kind of attack is this? Is it sensible to strafe ships with machine guns? Is this modeled in WITP?

quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin
Torpedoes against capital ships; skip bombing against anything without underwater protection (i.e., cruisers and below).


Do you mean torpedo belts (which I have heard of, but don't know much about), or something else?

Thanks for the answers!


Underwater protection was found in capital ships and limited the damage due to mines and torpedoes. Cruisers lacked it. Both IJN and RN cruisers had design flaws that increased their vulnerability to underwater damage!

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 4:58:16 AM   
wdolson

 

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By late war, the only times torpedoes were used was going after capital ships and from subs.  Skip bombing was much cheaper and ultimately more effective for smaller ships than torpedoes and crews didn't have to be as extensively trained.

Bill


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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 10:11:58 AM   
JeffK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarconix

quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK
If you are at sea level hitting the enemy with 8 x 50cals you might as well drop some bombs on them.


Perhaps a newbie question... but what kind of attack is this? Is it sensible to strafe ships with machine guns? Is this modeled in WITP?




Most Destroyers, and japanese Light Cruisers were in reality big destroyers, dont have a lot of armour and proved very susceptible to the Allied low level attacks.

The RAAF Beaufighters with 4 x 20mm cannon and 6 x .303 MGs, the USAAF B-25's with up to 12 x 50cal MGs, or "8" x 50cal and a 75mm cannon could devastate the decks of the smaller combat ships and Merchant/cargo vessels.

I think it started as flak suppression and then it was decided that as you were in a good bombing position to drop bombs at the same time.

Your ability to manoeuvre at low level would be as safe as coming in straight and level at 10,000ft.

Yes WITP models this, I dont know how well though. Set your attacking planes to 100ft.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 11:28:18 AM   
Sarconix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK
The RAAF Beaufighters with 4 x 20mm cannon and 6 x .303 MGs, the USAAF B-25's with up to 12 x 50cal MGs, or "8" x 50cal and a 75mm cannon could devastate the decks of the smaller combat ships and Merchant/cargo vessels.


Thanks for the details.

I guess I could see that more with cannons (explosive rounds, right?) vs. machine guns (static slugs). Would this just kill the crews on deck, or would it do a lot of critical damage to the vessel itself? I guess sinking is very unlikely, but could you disable the ship this way?

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 12:56:28 PM   
wdolson

 

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My father was in a photo unit that got attached to different bomber units.  He rode in the nose of some of those B-25s attacking shipping.  His plane never attacked anything big enough to warrant a bomb, but he said the .50s were enough to sink most smaller vessels they encountered. 

The advantage of a .50 machine gun is the rate of fire.  The holes aren't big, but they can turn the waterline of an unarmored vessel into a colander.

Skip bombing was devised by the legendary Pappy Gunn of the 5th AF.  He was tasked with finding ways to maximize the use of the minimal air assets the 5th AF had.  Te initial tests for skip bombing were done with B-17s, but they were too valuable and when they hit on replacing the bombadier on a B-25C/D with 4x .50s and another 4x on the sides, they had a great flak suppression and small ship killer.  (The B-25J could squeeze a bombadier into the nose with 4x .50s too.  It was a tight fit.)

Pappy Gunn also came up with a number of other improvised ideas.  A stock of small parafrag anti personell bombs were found in Australia and Gunn managed to get them.  The A-20 was initially not very useful, but the 5th AF had a number of them.  Gunn put extra guns on them, filled half the bomb bay with fuel, and the other half with a home made bomb rack for the para frag bombs and the A-20s became capable of closing down just about any runway in one pass nd with the range to reach most of the Japanese bases in eastern New Guinea.  The Japanese would have to bring out bomb disposal teams to deal with the parafrags that didn't explode before they could fill the many holes created by the ones that did.

Bill


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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 6:51:32 PM   
AirGriff


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Skip bombing in the game is pretty effective. Strafing less so, but it's still worth doing IMHO. I did some tests a while back on strafing attacks versus some Japanese AK's AP's and TK's. The strafe attacks used .30 cal and .50 cal guns (didn't test any cannon because it was an early war test). The strafes did little or no damage to the ships, but the cargo the ships were carrying was indeed effected, especially from the .50's. It's been a while since I've looked at my data, but I think something like 12 hits or so from a .50 into an AK would knock out around 30% of the supply cargo. Doesn't sound like much, but the IJ are very hard up for supplies, especially in the early game.

Then there's the barge issue. The only way to get at a TF that only contains barges or PT's is to attack at 100'. The strafe attacks here are effective. Mainly you need .50's and cannon.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 8:02:33 PM   
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B-25s could be equipped with 8 - 24! .50 caliber machine guns. At low level, this would shred just about anything up to and including destroyers.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 8:17:49 PM   
Sarconix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: paullus99
B-25s could be equipped with 8 - 24! .50 caliber machine guns. At low level, this would shred just about anything up to and including destroyers.


Wouldn't even moderately focused AA fire make short work of a slow, straight-flying bomber, before it could get close enough?

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 8:25:00 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sarconix

quote:

ORIGINAL: paullus99
B-25s could be equipped with 8 - 24! .50 caliber machine guns. At low level, this would shred just about anything up to and including destroyers.


Wouldn't even moderately focused AA fire make short work of a slow, straight-flying bomber, before it could get close enough?


Firepower duel.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/12/2009 10:51:54 PM   
wdolson

 

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Most AA guns don't have great protection.  Even larger caliber guns often just had a gun shield and some smaller Japanese turrets were open in the back.  A larger caliber gun isn't that effective against a plane at close range anyway due to the low rate of fire.

A .50 caliber armor piecing round could go through thin armor as you might find on a 25mm gun mount.  The gun shield is mostly there to protect the crew from flying fragments from explosions rather than direct hits.  The shield also can't protect everyone.  The gunner's upper body might be protected, but if he's hit from the waist down with a few .50 slugs, he's probably not getting back up again.  The loaders aren't protected by the gun shield at all and will probably be cut down by the flying lead, which will choke off the gun for lack of ammunition.

There is also the psychological factor of all that ammunition flying at you.  Code of Bushido or no, most human beings are going to have an instinct to protect themselves from such an onslaught.  It was not uncommon for Japanese AA gunners to abandon their posts when the B-25s opened up on them.  Late war, the USN would send in F6Fs armed with rockets to suppress flak on the warships they were attacking.  From what I've read, most of the light AA was eliminated on the Yamato from the first pass when she was sunk in 1945.

Bill


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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/13/2009 1:33:10 AM   
paullus99


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B-25's at low level were anything but slow-moving.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/13/2009 4:47:31 AM   
Sarconix

 

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All great info, thanks.

So where is the balance here?  Should you just always send any spare level bombers at 100 ft. against ships?  The above comments make it sounds like they would be at a decisive advantage, even without bombs.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/13/2009 9:28:33 AM   
JeffK


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From memory,  Your pilots eed a certain level of experience & morale plus they accumulate fatigue faster than at higher levels.

PS, this wasnt unique to the PTO, RAF Coastal Command had its strike wings of Mosqitoes, Beaufighters etc. Plus in 1941 the Whirlwind with its 4 x 20mm cannon plus 2 x 250 or 500lb bombs were effective at low level anti shipping attacks. (Not skip bombing though)


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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/13/2009 10:47:19 AM   
paullus99


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It is hard to tell if the game would allow low-level bombers to be as effective as they were historically (limited by the programming as it exists today).

Historically, A-20's & B-25's tore through Japanese shipping - especially later in the war. In WiTP, probably not as effective.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/13/2009 2:42:45 PM   
Sarconix

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: paullus99
Historically, A-20's & B-25's tore through Japanese shipping.


Ah right, there's shipping too. I suppose then with low experience / morale, and against AA-defended warships, these bombers would experience heavy losses. (though the game may or may not model that well) Sound about right?

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/13/2009 3:01:53 PM   
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More than likely - the game is limited by the programming & I believe bombers take pretty good losses when going after ships with decent AA, though they do better against shipping.

It is hard to recreate the historical situation, so the programmers have to make their best guesses as to what is and isn't possible.

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RE: Skip bombing vs. torpedoes? - 8/21/2009 12:27:47 AM   
engineer

 

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I haven't noticed dramatically higher losses on strafing runs against lightly defended ships, but you do see the morale drop.  The skip bombing is also a product of experience.  High experience pilots will do it more often.  In a recent game against AI, I sent an experience 90 B-17 group in a 100 feet against a transport convoy near the Admiralty Islands.  I lost one B-17 to flak and one to operational damage, had about a half dozen damaged and lost about 10 points of morale on a single mission. 

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