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Thread: Hypothetical naval battle

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Hypothetical naval battle

    Just something silly I am arguing about with someone right now:

    Take the combined British, French, Spanish, and etc, Portuguese, Dutch, whoever else had good ships back then, their whole, combined sail warship armadas from the Napoleon Wars era, from early 19th century



    So, hundreds of these sailing frigates and such, wooden ships, with their fuse cannons and whatnot.

    V.S.

    One big ass, bad ass WWII battleship, lets say the Bismarck




    a metal monster, with all its massive armaments; plus the handheld rifles and machine-guns of the crew


    Who wins?

    My own bet: one broad salvo from battleship

    would probably wipe out at least a third, of not half, of the sail ship, those not blown to bits would get overturned and scuttled by the concussion wave; and then - simply fucking ram the rest of 'em. Wooden ships against an armored steel hull, forget about it...

    No chance, game over.

    But, this buddy of mine thinks, still, that with enough sail ships and their cannons, he still could use overall numbers and some kind of strategy, to pull out a win here, to stop the battleship...

    What do you all think?
    Thanks from Thx1138

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Moorhuhn Wanted Champion Hollywood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    Just something silly I am arguing about with someone right now:

    Take the combined British, French, Spanish, and etc, Portuguese, Dutch, whoever else had good ships back then, their whole, combined sail warship armadas from the Napoleon Wars era, from early 19th century



    So, hundreds of these sailing frigates and such, wooden ships, with their fuse cannons and whatnot.

    V.S.

    One big ass, bad ass WWII battleship, lets say the Bismarck




    a metal monster, with all its massive armaments; plus the handheld rifles and machine-guns of the crew


    Who wins?

    My own bet: one broad salvo from battleship

    would probably wipe out at least a third, of not half, of the sail ship, those not blown to bits would get overturned and scuttled by the concussion wave; and then - simply fucking ram the rest of 'em. Wooden ships against an armored steel hull, forget about it...

    No chance, game over.

    But, this buddy of mine thinks, still, that with enough sail ships and their cannons, he still could use overall numbers and some kind of strategy, to pull out a win here, to stop the battleship...

    What do you all think?
    The WWII Battleship wins, no question.
    Half of the crews of the sailing ships would have heart attacks at the sight of a WWII ear battleship..
    Thanks from Thx1138, Tedminator and The Man

  3. #3
    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    We play this game in college all the time just with different scenarios such as could one regiment of marines with all their equipment defeat the entire Roman army.

    The answer is no.

    This battleship would run out of ammunition before it could take out all the ships and there is nowhere for it to get more ammo or replacement parts for anything that breaks down.

    Also there is no way to replace any crew members that get sick or wounded or killed.

    It will also run out of fuel fairly quickly.

    So unless you are talking about lining up all the old ships in a row then no, the battleship is going to lose.

    It will end up being a sitting duck and just constantly bombarded and eventually shit will start breaking on it. It will take out quite a few of the old ships but it can't do that indefinitely especially if it has to chase them down.
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  4. #4
    Sally Sitter Paris's Avatar
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    The sheer number of vessels would take the day.

  5. #5
    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Out on the open ocean the battleship is going to win, they could probably sustain any hit from the period cannon and could just plow through any ship in their way.

    The one hazard in that would be getting your screws tangled on enemy wreckage, but start opening up a few guns and I bet you could buy yourself a lot of time.

    Also, they could out-pace any sailing ship.

    Let's let the ship have the ability to be reprovisioned, I'm sure they could come up with both a fuel they could run the ship on and some kind of sustainable weapons system if we won't allow them to resupply from our time.

    I like these little thought experiments, they can be fun.

    Thx
    Thanks from The Man

  6. #6
    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thx1138 View Post
    Out on the open ocean the battleship is going to win, they could probably sustain any hit from the period cannon and could just plow through any ship in their way.

    The one hazard in that would be getting your screws tangled on enemy wreckage, but start opening up a few guns and I bet you could buy yourself a lot of time.

    Also, they could out-pace any sailing ship.

    Let's let the ship have the ability to be reprovisioned, I'm sure they could come up with both a fuel they could run the ship on and some kind of sustainable weapons system if we won't allow them to resupply from our time.

    I like these little thought experiments, they can be fun.

    Thx
    Are you going to give them ten years to develop weaponry for their ship?

    Its not going to happen.

    Those old ships put up a lot of shot with one volley and those cannonballs hit fricken hard. No they won't penetrate the armor but they are going to bend and break most everything on deck. If you have 40 ships launching volleys at this beast that is probably close to 1000 shots slamming into the ship every minute.

    They are going to seriously do some damage to those big guns and at the very least knock out their ability to aim correctly.

    The scenario in the OP is kind of vague on what the setup is though.

    If you put all the ships within striking distance of each and say "go" then the battleship loses. It can't shoot fast enough to take out enough ships before everything on their deck is bent to hell and back.

    The only way the battleship wins is if the older ships have to rush it from distance.
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  7. #7
    Galactic Ruler Spookycolt's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is if those high powered shells from the battleship are even going to explode once they hit the wooden ships.

    Are you sure the shell won't just fly right through it? I mean they are designed to penetrate steel and I'm not sure they are sensitive enough to go off going through some wood.

    The wood has zero stopping power so if it did trigger the shell odds are the shell is already through the wooden ship when it does explode.

    You might just have a bunch of ships with holes in it and not any real damage.
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  8. #8
    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookycolt View Post
    Are you going to give them ten years to develop weaponry for their ship?

    Its not going to happen.

    Those old ships put up a lot of shot with one volley and those cannonballs hit fricken hard. No they won't penetrate the armor but they are going to bend and break most everything on deck. If you have 40 ships launching volleys at this beast that is probably close to 1000 shots slamming into the ship every minute.

    They are going to seriously do some damage to those big guns and at the very least knock out their ability to aim correctly.

    The scenario in the OP is kind of vague on what the setup is though.

    If you put all the ships within striking distance of each and say "go" then the battleship loses. It can't shoot fast enough to take out enough ships before everything on their deck is bent to hell and back.

    The only way the battleship wins is if the older ships have to rush it from distance.
    No.

    The guns on the battleship have much greater range and accuracy than those on the old wooden fleet.

    A couple 5 inch guns could probably keep them at bay. No pun.

    As The Man suggested, some full volleys are going to devastate.

    Let's be fair, does the battleship have to be surrounded at close range by 1000 ships?

    It's only the ones that can get in range and get a clear shot that have a chance of doing damage, at some point wooden ships are going to be in each others way more than anything.

    I say the battleship can always head into the wind and break away... they could find a way of refueling the ship in Tahiti if they wanted, the fleet would take months, maybe more than a year to get there and the fleet would actually have no idea where in the world they were in the first place.

    And in reciprocal manner, the fleet's best chance is to disperse in different directions, the battleship can't chase them all down and fuel would indeed run out long before.

    Very inefficient way to run down a ship at a time.

    The wooden fleet would have to invent new weapons, perhaps sea mines...

    Thx
    Last edited by Thx1138; 17th June 2017 at 12:16 AM.

  9. #9
    Sally Sitter Paris's Avatar
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    What makes you think they would have no idea where in the world they were?

    You make it sound like the Age of Discovery happened in the 20th century.

    And they would be refueling the ship in Tahiti with what? Diesel from the natives?

    Moreover I believe the number of vessels coming at them would be greatly superior than a thousand.

    Many would very likely come at close range and even close enough for a few to climb on board and kill everyone.

  10. #10
    Bizarroland Observer Thx1138's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris View Post
    What makes you think they would have no idea where in the world they were?

    You make it sound like the Age of Discovery happened in the 20th century.

    And they would be refueling the ship in Tahiti with what? Diesel from the natives?

    Moreover I believe the number of vessels coming at them would be greatly superior than a thousand.

    Many would very likely come at close range and even close enough for a few to climb on board and kill everyone.
    They could run it on vegetable oil.

    Some ships might spot them in Tahiti, but how are they going to get word back to the fleet, that would take months.

    They could hold a port city hostage, give us 500 barrels of lamp oil or we'll obliterate your city.

    Again, if you are going to put them in a bay, surrounded at very close range by thousands of ships, then the fleet would probably win, why not insist the crew of the ship be blind as well?

    I bet you could clear a pretty good swath of wooden ships by opening up those big guns at eye level...

    And climb onboard a large battleship like that... nah, they'd never get a foot up the side, are they going to swing over on ropes?

    No, the battleship would either win or get away.

    Thx
    Thanks from The Man

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