Cannae/Gaugamela/Austerlitz of naval warfare?

May 2018
772
Michigan
#22
In terms of being a tactical masterpiece, would Pearl Harbor count? It is still considered a significant Japanese tactical victory, and somewhat parallels Austerlitz or Cannae in that the victor did not eventually win the war.

Note that if we are talking tactical victors who didn't win the war, we should add Chancellorsville to that list as well.
 
Likes: sailorsam

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,260
#23
Thank you - I am glad there are two of us in the world that think this.

A little side note - I replayed this battle using the old Avalon Hill game "Wooden ships and Iron Men" First the Culloden ran aground at the entrance to the bay. Then - I kid you not, the L'Orient blew up. Admittedly a little earlier in the battle than in real life, but still a Twilight Zone moment lol
WSIM. one of thr true classics of board war gaming. I still love that old boad wargaming though it's hard to find people into it. (you can play them over the internet but it's not my thing)
I'm a very retro geek.
 
Likes: MG1962a
Oct 2016
1,110
Merryland
#24
In terms of being a tactical masterpiece, would Pearl Harbor count? It is still considered a significant Japanese tactical victory, and somewhat parallels Austerlitz or Cannae in that the victor did not eventually win the war.
+1. major USN losses at virtually no cost to Japan. really not much of a 'battle', more a very successful raid.

maybe not as well know but Bismarck Sea
allied air forces decimate a Japanese convoy. Japan lost 8 transports and 4 destroyers (plus 20 aircraft); allies lost 6 aircraft.
 
Nov 2011
4,744
Ohio, USA
#25
Battle of Nile (1798 ) Royal Navy 13 ships of line , French Navy 13 ships of line plus four frigates and shore batteries. Royal Navy lost no ships , French lost eleven ships of line and two frigates

Naval Battle of Trafalgar (1805) , Royal Navy 27 ships of line and two frigates , Combined Fleet (French and Spanish) 35 ships of line and four frigates. Royal Navy lost no ships , Combined Fleet in three different engagements of Trafalgar Campaign lost 26 ships of line plus two frigates.
Definitely agree with the Nile, in particular. I think it was actually an even finer display of naval tactics than Trafalgar.

Any number of the victories of both Yi-Sun Sin and Niels Juel would count here as well. They were the equals of Nelson in most regards.
 

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