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Battle of Hypatia questions

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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by lyonheart   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:40 am

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Howdy munroburton,

Thanks for the input.

The problem is the missile loadouts for the Sag-B's are probably rather less than the 85% of 7524 missiles launched in 19 salvo's;- 6396 or 2132 missiles each. At 78 tons each, that's 166,296 tons in a cruiser massing only 425,000 tons in SotS, or over 39%, or more than 50% greater than the Sag-C's missile fraction which was noted for its very heavy missile load and which is almost exactly the same as the Nike's.

Given its far older design origins, I doubt it carried so many missiles without it being remarked upon somewhere. From THotQ, I believe the Star Knight class had somewhere between 600-900 missiles and that was considered a heavy load back then; on the other hand, 19 double salvo's is 1596 missiles which would actually be more than the Sag-C's missile tonnage warload even with the 120 extra as well as over 29% of the Sag-B's mass, assuming the Sag-B's didn't control some Mark-16's, which is another point to clarify.

4788 missiles would be over 63% of the 19 salvo's, but that leaves 2736 as Mark 16's, of which only 950 could be launched during the 19 salvo's 20 seconds interval, leaving 1786 to have been launched prior to the first volley's activation; taking at least 10.8 minutes, while traveling 9.8 million km.

If Phantom could do that, why not also launch the remaining 58.5% of the Nike's Mk-16's? It would take just over another 23 minutes.

On the fire control side, rotating by 7X the Nike's assumed 400 fire control links would account for the 2736 Mk-16's (but why isn't it fully divisible by 50?), although if Phantom could handle 14 simultaneous salvo's (5 had hit the SLN TF by the time the 19th was launched), 200 Mark-16's in each should have been possible.

If the 3 Sag-B's launch 2 double salvo's of 84 missiles each in the 20 second interval, or 252 combined, that leaves 144 for Mark-16's, with 94 apparently previously launched; again why isn't it exactly divisible by 50?

If the Nike can handle 2800 missiles in 14 volley's that leaves the Sag-B's handling 2744 in those 14 salvo's, which after the rotating FCL's means each has 131 FC links or more than a Sag-C (128); again unlikely.

It may be silly to pick at these things, but I'm missing something or several things, and an explanation would further improve my enjoyment of the scene.

Thanks for trying, with my best wishes.



munroburton wrote:
lyonheart wrote:Back to the Battle of Hypatia, I still don't see how the 396 missile salvo's were arranged (how many each ship launched etc), nor how the Sag-B's had enough missiles for 19 volley's unless they carried more missiles than the Sag-C normally did (1200, 1320 warload), or were controlling Mark-16's previously launched by Phantom (before the first salvo was activated) but regardless it means the bulk of the 7524 missiles were Mark-16's launched from Phantom, at least an extra 2974 over the 950 in the 19 salvo's, or 118 minutes before the first activation, and if the Mark-16 could wait 18 minutes, could it wait 20, 30 or 40 (actually 39.6 for 132 volleys?

These and other questions continue to puzzle if not haunt my understanding.

Any insights will be very appreciated.

Bet wishes to all,


I believe your confusion arises from the different launcher times very rarely mentioned in the books - IIRC, it takes about twice as long to cycle a MK16's launcher as it does a MK14's launcher, because of the time required to start the MK16's microfusion reactor. The Sag-Bs are firing twice for every time Phantom fires.

Every ~35 seconds:
HMS Phantom launches 50 MK16 DDMs.
The 4x Sag-Bs could each be launching 42 MK14 missiles twice, for 84*4, totalling 336.

There's some fudging because the Sag-Bs are(were?) only capable of adjacent off-bore firing. The numbers are theoretically as such:
Broadside-on: 19+2+2, 23 per salvo.
Chase-on: 19+19+2, 40 per salvo.
Wedge-on: 19+19+2+2, 42 per salvo.

The Sag-Bs don't have enough fire control links for the latter two of those options - but that's irrelevant due to Phantom's pair of baby keyholes providing all the fire control they needed.

This means the Sag-Bs fired about 85-90% of the missiles during that battle, not Phantom. I'm not certain how to explain a warload of at least 1600 missiles for the Sag-B with the Sag-C's numbers - the easiest way out is to accept that MK16s are probably that much larger than MK14s.

Yes - I just checked IEH. Before Honor shot him down, White Haven was up in arms about the proposed missiles effectively reducing each waller's total ammo load by about 20%. That almost perfectly fits the Sag-B's 1600 being reduced to ~1200-1320. It doesn't stretch the imagination to see the RMN accepting that kind of trade-off again.

Especially when these few MK16s did the bulk of the killing at Hypatia anyway. The MK14s' main contribution was to saturate the Solarian anti-missile defences so that more MK16s would survive into firing range.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by lyonheart   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:15 am

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Hi Cthia,

If you haven't read Shattered Sword by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully (2005) or Midway Inquest by Dallas Woodbury Isom (2007), put them on your reading list as the best to explain what actually happened.

The first is by the first western historians who could speak and read Japanese, who use Japanese research and sources from the 1970-80's up to 2000 etc to destroy Fuchida's postwar lies that have dominated all the western books written by men who didn't read Japanese and were dependent on English translations. the detail is amazing and will drastically change your understanding of the battle especially the very little time window from ~0600 Nagumo had to make his decision based on what he knew when it mattered. By 0630 it was too late even though the hammer didn't come down for 4 hours because of everything that got in the way.

Thanks to aerial photographs from the B-17's (who could at least do that much if they were incompetent at everything else) show the decks clear save for the CAP landing and taking off after refueling, so spotting the second wave wasn't possible.

The second is by a lawyer even more focused on explaining how Nagumo made his fateful decision to rearm, and how he might changed it.

The IJN armed their planes in the hanger (rearming on deck would have been harder), and the flight decks were generally clear (except for a few CAP fighters on deck) not cluttered with a full deck strike or one being assembled since that was the Kita Butai's doctrine for a combined strike, which wasn't the USN's then which is one reason why the Devastator's got so much grief.

Parshall and Tully explain how it wasn't the "miraculous five minutes" that all the previous authors harp on, largely do to Fuchida, due to plenty of other Japanese eyewitness accounts as well as the various costly American errors.

Enjoy!

Best wishes,



cthia wrote:By internal tractor, I thought he was referring to the internal tractors that the pods use to attach themselves.

Getting caught with pants down reminds me of what happened to the Japanese on that fateful carrier in WWII, when Nagumo changed his tactics yet again right before launching his planes and ordered a second change of torpedos to be loaded on the planes and he got caught with a lot of ordnance all over the flight deck with an American squadron barreling down on him.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by munroburton   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:05 am

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lyonheart wrote:Howdy munroburton,

Thanks for the input.

The problem is the missile loadouts for the Sag-B's are probably rather less than the 85% of 7524 missiles launched in 19 salvo's;- 6396 or 2132 missiles each. At 78 tons each, that's 166,296 tons in a cruiser massing only 425,000 tons in SotS, or over 39%, or more than 50% greater than the Sag-C's missile fraction which was noted for its very heavy missile load and which is almost exactly the same as the Nike's.

Given its far older design origins, I doubt it carried so many missiles without it being remarked upon somewhere. From THotQ, I believe the Star Knight class had somewhere between 600-900 missiles and that was considered a heavy load back then; on the other hand, 19 double salvo's is 1596 missiles which would actually be more than the Sag-C's missile tonnage warload even with the 120 extra as well as over 29% of the Sag-B's mass, assuming the Sag-B's didn't control some Mark-16's, which is another point to clarify.

4788 missiles would be over 63% of the 19 salvo's, but that leaves 2736 as Mark 16's, of which only 950 could be launched during the 19 salvo's 20 seconds interval, leaving 1786 to have been launched prior to the first volley's activation; taking at least 10.8 minutes, while traveling 9.8 million km.

If Phantom could do that, why not also launch the remaining 58.5% of the Nike's Mk-16's? It would take just over another 23 minutes.

On the fire control side, rotating by 7X the Nike's assumed 400 fire control links would account for the 2736 Mk-16's (but why isn't it fully divisible by 50?), although if Phantom could handle 14 simultaneous salvo's (5 had hit the SLN TF by the time the 19th was launched), 200 Mark-16's in each should have been possible.

If the 3 Sag-B's launch 2 double salvo's of 84 missiles each in the 20 second interval, or 252 combined, that leaves 144 for Mark-16's, with 94 apparently previously launched; again why isn't it exactly divisible by 50?

If the Nike can handle 2800 missiles in 14 volley's that leaves the Sag-B's handling 2744 in those 14 salvo's, which after the rotating FCL's means each has 131 FC links or more than a Sag-C (128); again unlikely.

It may be silly to pick at these things, but I'm missing something or several things, and an explanation would further improve my enjoyment of the scene.

Thanks for trying, with my best wishes.


I see what you're getting at now... but the Phantom shouldn't be able to fire 50 every 20 seconds - only 25 as it alternates broadsides to keep up with the Sag-Bs' cycle.

Ok, here goes:
HMS Phantom fired a double stack from both broadsides for the first salvo, then shifted to supplying only 25 missiles per squadron salvo thereafter. It's problematic that when HMS Arngrim makes her attack that there's a line which says each of Jan Kotouč’s salvos had exactly 396 missiles, as there are references to approximately 360 RMN missiles throughout that engagement.

396-100 = 296/4 = 74 per Sag-B
~360-25 = 335/4 = 83.75 per Sag-B. Round it up to 361 missiles for 84 per Sag-B

I've already pointed out that the Sag-Bs weren't using their fire control links at all - in order to launch 84 missiles every 20 seconds they had to be wedge-on towards the Sollies the entire time and handing off their missiles to Phantom's keyholes. I'm happy we agree that these provide around 400 FCLs.

This isn't the only possibility. Phantom could perhaps have stacked more salvos for that first launch, all the way up to providing 350 missiles with the Sag-B launching the remaining 46 via a doubled "broadside-on" scheme. But there is clearly a limit to how long a launched Mk16 can float in space before it loses the ability to bring up its impellers.

If there was some way for Phantom to launch every missile she had without entering SLN range, I like to think Admiral Kotouc would have taken it and kept his entire force out of SLN range. If he had a BC(P) he could even have done that. But he needed the Sag-Bs' missiles to do what they did, especially as HMS Phantom could physically launch only 450 missiles in the 18 salvos after that first one.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by Relax   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:16 pm

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lyonheart wrote:Howdy munroburton,

Thanks for the input.

The problem is the missile loadouts for the Sag-B's are probably rather less than the 85% of 7524 missiles launched in 19 salvo's;- 6396 or 2132 missiles each. At 78 tons each, that's 166,296 tons in a cruiser massing only 425,000 tons in SotS, or over 39%, or more than 50% greater than the Sag-C's missile fraction which was noted for its very heavy missile load and which is almost exactly the same as the Nike's.

Given its far older design origins, I doubt it carried so many missiles without it being remarked upon somewhere. From THotQ, I believe the Star Knight class had somewhere between 600-900 missiles and that was considered a heavy load back then; on the other hand, 19 double salvo's is 1596 missiles which would actually be more than the Sag-C's missile tonnage warload even with the 120 extra as well as over 29% of the Sag-B's mass, assuming the Sag-B's didn't control some Mark-16's, which is another point to clarify.


Uh, I believe a little of bludgeoning your calculator with blunt fingers or went cross eyed for a bit or RFC might have been using the SAG-B from SotS instead of the SAG-B in HoS?

Normalized to: SAG-C could do Star knight, but...

Star Knight 305kton, 30 tubes, 70? ton missile or 2100t/salvo 10 salvos = 21kton, 20 salvo = 42kton;
30 salvo = 63ton or 20%

*** Note *** Star Knight was known as leaning heavily toward the defensive side, not offensive. The Alvarez(Grayson's Star Knight 319kton) added 2 extra missile tubes/broadside for ~14,000tons + Grasers and heavier PDLC
2380t/salvo 30 salvo = 71kton = 22% of tonnage

SAG-A 393ktn, 34missile tubes @78ton/missile?
30 salvo = 2652; 30 salvo = 79.5kton = 20%

SAG-B 425ktn 42 missile tubes uses 78ton missile.
10 Salvos = ~33kton; 20 salvos = 66ktons. 30 salvos = 99kton Or 23% of the ships load. 40 salvos = 132kton = 31%

SAG-C 485kton 40 tubes @94ton/missile = 3760t/salvo
10salvo = 37.6kton 20salvo = 75kton
30 salvo = 112kton or 23%

SAG-B/C are equal in missile % of tonnage. Slightly higher than Star Knight/Alvarez.

So, 19 double salvos more than likely picked up some of NIKE's extra missiles. Or RFC fumble punched his calculator. :o

PS: With onboard fusion power, 2 stage missiles @ single stage range, NIKE class BC's could just swim out all of its missiles and then initiate them at will. @Hypatia should have been able to use all 5000 of its missiles unless wished to hold a reserve.

PPS: Maybe the numbers are off as DW determined that chase missile tubes from SAG-B's could not fire. 2 each end.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:27 pm

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Edit - and once I had a chance to come back and finish reading the thread I see that lyonheart already shared this info; in a far more detailed and informative way.
cthia wrote:By internal tractor, I thought he was referring to the internal tractors that the pods use to attach themselves.

Getting caught with pants down reminds me of what happened to the Japanese on that fateful carrier in WWII, when Nagumo changed his tactics yet again right before launching his planes and ordered a second change of torpedos to be loaded on the planes and he got caught with a lot of ordnance all over the flight deck with an American squadron barreling down on him.

BTW more recent research and translation of Japanese documents have disproved Fuchida's claim of the fateful five minutes.

Even if Nagumo hadn't ordered a change of tactics/targets the strike still would have been prepping for launch; and thus caught on the carriers. (Parshall and Tully's 'Shattered Sword' covers this in detail -- and it's about 16 years old now)
Last edited by Jonathan_S on Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by cthia   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:54 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
cthia wrote:By internal tractor, I thought he was referring to the internal tractors that the pods use to attach themselves.

Getting caught with pants down reminds me of what happened to the Japanese on that fateful carrier in WWII, when Nagumo changed his tactics yet again right before launching his planes and ordered a second change of torpedos to be loaded on the planes and he got caught with a lot of ordnance all over the flight deck with an American squadron barreling down on him.

BTW more recent research and translation of Japanese documents have disproved Fuchida's claim of the fateful five minutes.

Even if Nagumo hadn't ordered a change of tactics/targets the strike still would have been prepping for launch; and thus caught on the carriers. (Parshall and Tully's 'Shattered Sword' covers this in detail -- and it's about 16 years old now)

Well, I can't say that I got my information from more scholarly sources like books. I came by it from watching a documentary on either the History Channel or YouTube. And of course, documentaries are subject to misrepresentation as well. Except for the fact that the bit about the ordnance and planes on the flight deck came from an American eyewitness in the form of one of the dive bombers. He stated that he couldn't believe their luck. IOW, that tidbit came from someone who was there. I will try to scare up that documentary when I get the time and post a link.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by Relax   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:58 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
Relax wrote:I suppose your real question is why the Hellcat/Wildcat/Corsair did not add this fuel tank behind the pilots. I do not know, but they already had long endurance comparatively speaking to their USAAF/German/UK contemporaries with the additional consideration that long range missions were not common other than by land based patrol aircraft.

I'd speculate (and this is just speculation) that carrier launched fighters might have needed to be a bit more takeoff weight conscious than land based fighters; and adding the weight of even more fuel could have negatively affected their ability to operate from the existing carriers.

At first blush, what you write would appear to be correct. I did not write that because Corsairs/Hellcats routinely flew off of carriers with BIG 150 gallon drop tanks. In fact F6F Hellcats normal operational procedure was to fly with a centerline drop tank. Both were designed from the outset with the demand for fuel tanks/bomb racks. My only conclusion is that in testing, which has been lost to time, they deemed the rearward CG with said ~80-->100 Gallon aft cockpit fuel tank would be too dangerous for carrier takeoffs on the bleeding edge of control??????? Or for ditching purposes if engine sputtered on Take off?... but extra load(fuel tanks) on the MAC(Mean Aerodynamic Chord) would be just fine.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:44 pm

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Relax wrote:PS: With onboard fusion power, 2 stage missiles @ single stage range, NIKE class BC's could just swim out all of its missiles and then initiate them at will. @Hypatia should have been able to use all 5000 of its missiles unless wished to hold a reserve.

PPS: Maybe the numbers are off as DW determined that chase missile tubes from SAG-B's could not fire. 2 each end.


They weren't at single-stage range. They were at extended range for the Mk14, so that needed one and a half of the Mk16's stages. If they had waited to get to single-stage range, they would have been far more visible to the SLN sensors, however myopic, and the SLN's own fire control would have been more effective. Kotouč had to fool them into thinking he had more ships he really did, with the Loreleis, to force them to fire ALL their missiles. If Hajdu had figured the RMN force was weaker, he could have left some missiles back and used them on the Hypatian space infrastructure.

The question though is the same: could he have made a far bigger Alpha launch? We're coming to the conclusion that no matter what, Phantom did not fire all her missiles. So if she had begun swimming them out of the tubes, that alpha launch could have been bigger.

I guess this is where your idea of rotating links would come in. If Phantom only had 400 links via the Keyholes, without rotating them, they'd have just one more salvo of 400, albeit a much stronger one using Mk16 only instead of a majority of Mk14 (though I'm not sure this is a qualitative gain, as the Mk14 were designed to go against Peep SDs, or am I confusing things?). If they had rotated links, they could maybe have sent 800 or 1200 missiles in that Alpha launch.

Still, we're talking about increasing the total missile throw by 15%. In hindsight, we know this would have made Petersen's life easier, though it might have cost her her barony. Before the attack, they had no way of knowing that 19 salvos would have killed nearly 90% of the opposing force.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by Jonathan_S   » Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:12 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:(though I'm not sure this is a qualitative gain, as the Mk14 were designed to go against Peep SDs, or am I confusing things?)

I think you're confusing things. Both the Mk16 and Mk14 were heavy cruiser / battlecruiser grade missiles[1] -- neither are capital grade missiles, and aren't designed to go up against anybody's SD.

Now the latest mods of the Mk16 do include an improved grav lensing which pushes their throughput up near older capital ship missiles -- meaning they're better able to deal damage to older SDs than you'd expect from a BC weight missile. But that's not their intended or designed role. (And I can't recall whether or not older missiles like the Mk14 could, or did, get that same grav lensing retrofit)


[1] Though the RMN/GSN never actually built a BC around the Mark 14 ERM.
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Re: Battle of Hypatia questions
Post by Relax   » Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:20 am

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:(though I'm not sure this is a qualitative gain, as the Mk14 were designed to go against Peep SDs, or am I confusing things?)

I think you're confusing things. Both the Mk16 and Mk14 were heavy cruiser / battlecruiser grade missiles[1] -- neither are capital grade missiles, and aren't designed to go up against anybody's SD.

Now the latest mods of the Mk16 do include an improved grav lensing which pushes their throughput up near older capital ship missiles -- meaning they're better able to deal damage to older SDs than you'd expect from a BC weight missile. But that's not their intended or designed role. (And I can't recall whether or not older missiles like the Mk14 could, or did, get that same grav lensing retrofit)


[1] Though the RMN/GSN never actually built a BC around the Mark 14 ERM.

I just spent some time trying to search RFC's posts. If I recall correctly here on forum several years ago, as in nearly 10 or so, we were discussing that if the MK16 could have a new grav lens, and pinnaces had new grav lenses both which appeared in SoSAG, surely the MK14 would also have new grav lenses and upgrade kits for the old missiles along with every other missile/graser/laser that uses grav focusing. I believe it was never brought up in a book, but I believe rather RFC took pity on us fools and basically agreed with the above logic.

Maybe someone else has vastly superior memory on said subject or better kung foo in the advanced search. Apparently I have neither memory nor good search ability. :shock: :o
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