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 Post subject: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 1:40 pm 
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So I just read this from the developer of WarPlan:

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I implemented a reconnaissance system within the game based on how close you were to territory you controlled. Enemy fleets close to your controlled territory are easy to find. Enemy fleets away from your territory are harder to find. Two fleets in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean have a small chance of finding each other. The Hunt for the Bismarck demonstrated what it took to find 2 ships at sea. To my recollection that was the only time fleets fought in the deep sea away from any land mass in World War 2. You just didn’t have fleet combat in the middle of nowhere out in the ocean except in convoy warfare. So if naval combat was to be mostly fought over sea control near land what would it exactly control? The answer was air space, supply, and invasions.


Is that true? All major naval engagements outside of those related to convoys occurred near land and fleets never 'ran into each other' in the deep ocean?

I tried to find a map of major WWII naval battles but couldn't. My first thought was Midway but obviously as it's name implies it started as a battle over a land naval base (tiny but still) not two random CV groups running into each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:39 am 
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I have not looked through a listing of major naval battles that occurred during WW 2, but off the top of my head, none come to mind that occurred “ in the deep sea away from any land mass”

Convoy attacks (as I believe you noted) might be an exception.

Germany also sent out about a dozen merchant ships that had been converted to armed commerce raiders.
It might be that one of them was intercepted “in the deep sea away from any land mass” but that would likely not qualify as a “major naval battle”.

The armed commerce raiser Kormoran did get into a surface battle with the light cruiser HMAS Sydney.
Sydney (along with Kormoran) were sunk as a result of the battle, which occurred about 110 miles off the coast of Western Australia.

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 Post subject: Re: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 4:52 pm 
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Thank you.

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 Post subject: Re: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:45 am 
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The word "Fleets" in the original quote, should be considered relevant. Certainly raiders encounters merchant ships anywhere, but going back to the beginning of "fleet actions" they probably always occur close to land, usually in conjunction with somebody landing somewhere. But not always. Glorious First, was a fleet action that involved attack/defense of a convoy (not a landing). So sometimes, Fleet actions occur over "sea control". Jutland is probably another example of a "sea control" fleet action.

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 Post subject: Re: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:57 pm 
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AngryOldMan wrote:
So I just read this from the developer of WarPlan:

Quote:
I implemented a reconnaissance system within the game based on how close you were to territory you controlled. Enemy fleets close to your controlled territory are easy to find. Enemy fleets away from your territory are harder to find. Two fleets in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean have a small chance of finding each other. The Hunt for the Bismarck demonstrated what it took to find 2 ships at sea. To my recollection that was the only time fleets fought in the deep sea away from any land mass in World War 2. You just didn’t have fleet combat in the middle of nowhere out in the ocean except in convoy warfare. So if naval combat was to be mostly fought over sea control near land what would it exactly control? The answer was air space, supply, and invasions.


Is that true? All major naval engagements outside of those related to convoys occurred near land and fleets never 'ran into each other' in the deep ocean?

I tried to find a map of major WWII naval battles but couldn't. My first thought was Midway but obviously as it's name implies it started as a battle over a land naval base (tiny but still) not two random CV groups running into each other.


If he is restricting himself to the Atlantic, then it is perhaps true. But certainly not with respect to the Pacific. Given his statement of "You just didn’t have fleet combat in the middle of nowhere out in the ocean except in convoy warfare," well that is FALSE. There were several fleet engagements many hundreds of miles from land mass in the Pacific (Midway for example, the fact the island was over there is rather irrelevant to the claim. The engagement was far FAR from visual or radar detection range from land based assets so effective it was a case of a fleet engagement in "remote ocean"); and why would one make some kind of special case for the subs vs. convoy engagements anyway? Besides that, I believe there were a few small fleet engagements that may have been rather remote from land in the Atlantic/European theater too.

If he wanted to operationalize sea-based reconnaissance then he needed to take account of a few variables.
Mast height (line of site for a man-height eyeball on flat ground is around 5km if memory serves and it can go up from there depending on the height of the target above ground/sea level surface and height of the eyeball, Want to say ~25km is around an absolute max visual spotting range for the any of the tallest craft spotting tallest craft, but my memory may not serve that and it could be as low as 12km).
Optics (mainly helps with resolving details at the boundaries of visual range, thus creating the sense of "extending" visual range)
Exhaust characteristics (not sure how high up exhaust plumes tended to rise before they leveled out. My guesstimate of ~25km might reflect exhaust plumes being considered . . . kind or remarkable that few of the ships of the day seem to have tried to point exhaust plumes down and diffuse them at sea level. Hard to imagine this wasn't considered as a means to greater stealth, maybe an actual technical barrier?)
Light levels
Atmospheric conditions
Radar (or not)
Sonar (some models of the passive were quite good for detection at ranges that would exceed line of sight)
Crew competency (probably best represented as both a state and a trait variable to represent current level of training (trait) and current state of mind.

All that would cover ship-based spotting. Aircraft could rely on the same variables basically but obviously the values for some of those would be a lot higher ("eyeball height;" radar range. Worth noting that: the inclusion of radar devices in aircraft DRAMATICALLY increased the range at which sea level targets could be spotted. This because of how radar waves cannot "bend" to hug the surface of the earth producing a 'horizon' for radar detection similar to the horizon for eyeball detection, but not dependent on visible light levels or crew eyeball strain levels).

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 Post subject: Re: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:30 pm 
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I thought about Midway, but then I thought the whole point of that battle was initially to invade a naval base. So in that way, it did sort of take place if not close to land at least in reference to land. I think his bigger point was that fleets moving around in deep water almost never just 'ran into' each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Can one of you WWII buffs fact check this?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:13 pm 
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AngryOldMan wrote:
I thought about Midway, but then I thought the whole point of that battle was initially to invade a naval base. So in that way, it did sort of take place if not close to land at least in reference to land. I think his bigger point was that fleets moving around in deep water almost never just 'ran into' each other.


Well, submarines certainly "ran into" plenty of convoys out in deep water plenty of times, so the premise does not seem to be sound.

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