From: The Big Nowhere
OK, I remember playing a game a while back against the AI where I managed to catch BB Maryland as it tried to flee Pearl Harbor on Dec 8. Since I had enough fuel and no real threats to KB, I chased it for a bit. Never managing to get into torpedo range, but dropping hundreds of 250kg on it. The ship did not sink. Finally after 3-4 turns of this, I decided to pop in and have a look at it, so saved, set to head to head and took a look. The ship was at 97 fires, and did not have a single weapon left on it. However, flotation was only damaged around 20% or so. It did eventually sink, no doubt from the fires.
Moral of the story, non-penetrating hits may not sink the ship directly, but can either render it entirely useless (stripping the weapons), or in the case of my example above, cause it to sink from fire damage. Or both, as the case may be.
Distant Worlds Fan
'When in doubt...attack!'