OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

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DConn
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OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by DConn »

Interesting and fairly short article. FWIW, I highly recommend Ars Technica for a whole range of accessible but accurate technical explanations.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/03 ... orld-wars/

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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by Ian R »

Here is USN video on the subject:

u.s navy vintage fire control computers (part 1)

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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by Ian R »

Image
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Fishbed
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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by Fishbed »

Actually the article is not so much about actual computers aboard ships, than it is about situation awareness at the Flag decision level. When the author says "analog computational power", in effect he simply means "brains" [:D] [;)]
(along with all the C3i questions that early 20th century technology raise, and the way the latter shaped tactical decision)
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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by dr.hal »

Ian your posted picture reminds me of when I was WEPO on DDG 20, which was an Adams Class DD fitted with a Tartar missile system in place of one of the 5" 54 cal gun mounts. These were the last class of ships based upon WW2 design needs over crew comfort. The analog computer for the gun mounts (2 in this case) was HUGE! It was about 5ftx3ft x 3ft high. And had a crew to man it! Yet, it had far less "computing power" than most folks wrist watches have now! To say we have come a long way is the understatement of the year!
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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by Ian R »

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

Ian your posted picture reminds me of when I was WEPO on DDG 20, which was an Adams Class DD fitted with a Tartar missile system in place of one of the 5" 54 cal gun mounts. These were the last class of ships based upon WW2 design needs over crew comfort. The analog computer for the gun mounts (2 in this case) was HUGE! It was about 5ftx3ft x 3ft high. And had a crew to man it! Yet, it had far less "computing power" than most folks wrist watches have now! To say we have come a long way is the understatement of the year!

How much direct input was their by way of (valve) electrics from the radar Dr Hal? Or was it all muscular? The STAAG mounting for the Bofors with a radar "lock-on" was available after the end of WW2, but when you read about the USN (& RN) using radar fire control in surface actions by 1942-43, it seems to be about the skilled radar operators plotting shell splashes to provide input information to the guys setting the dials on the computer.

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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by BBfanboy »

ORIGINAL: Ian R

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

Ian your posted picture reminds me of when I was WEPO on DDG 20, which was an Adams Class DD fitted with a Tartar missile system in place of one of the 5" 54 cal gun mounts. These were the last class of ships based upon WW2 design needs over crew comfort. The analog computer for the gun mounts (2 in this case) was HUGE! It was about 5ftx3ft x 3ft high. And had a crew to man it! Yet, it had far less "computing power" than most folks wrist watches have now! To say we have come a long way is the understatement of the year!

How much direct input was their by way of (valve) electrics from the radar Dr Hal? Or was it all muscular? The STAAG mounting for the Bofors with a radar "lock-on" was available after the end of WW2, but when you read about the USN (& RN) using radar fire control in surface actions by 1942-43, it seems to be about the skilled radar operators plotting shell splashes to provide input information to the guys setting the dials on the computer.
My understanding of the radar guided fire control is that the radar range was automatically fed into the computer and the bearing change (minus own ship movements) was used to calculate enemy speed automatically. Operators could still put in adjustments based on spotting, weather data, etc.
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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by dr.hal »

Ian and BB, I can't recall what was a direct input and what had to be inputted by the attending crew. Sorry.
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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by Knavey »

I was on the battleship USS Alabama a few years ago, and you have access to the fire control room...huge, manpower intensive, and a LOT of buttons, knobs and switches.

A great tour if you are driving by Mobile.
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RE: OT: Computational Power & Naval Warfare

Post by dr.hal »

ORIGINAL: Knavey

I was on the battleship USS Alabama a few years ago, and you have access to the fire control room...huge, manpower intensive, and a LOT of buttons, knobs and switches.

A great tour if you are driving by Mobile.
Yes and that's just the tip of the manpower iceberg. I was in when the USN brought back the Iowa class into action. One of the major concerns was the drain on manpower as those ships needed LOTS of crew. Those WW2 systems were person intensive which was NOT the navy of 1970/80 OR the navy today...
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