The route of Russian Baltic Fleet in Russo-Japanese War

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,810
Dispargum
#21
Every time that I read about the advantage of "crossing the T", I am reminded how Nelson was hailed as a tactical genius at the Battle of Trafalgar. Go figure.
Who crossed who at Trafalgar? It's true that Nelson's two columns approached the Franco/Spanish line at right angles but then when Nelson's ships broke through they were capping the French and Spanish in a tactic then called raking (firing along the length of the target ship with the target only able to fight back with its bow or stern chasers). Nelson's ships took quite a bit of damage during their approach but made up for it after they broke the enemy line. I wonder what would have happened if French and Spanish gunnery had been up to British standards. The lack of rotating turrets may have had something to do with it as well. Many of the French and Spanish ships could not bring their guns to bear because they had limited ability to fire off beam.
 

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,564
Eastern PA
#22
Who crossed who at Trafalgar? It's true that Nelson's two columns approached the Franco/Spanish line at right angles but then when Nelson's ships broke through they were capping the French and Spanish in a tactic then called raking (firing along the length of the target ship with the target only able to fight back with its bow or stern chasers). Nelson's ships took quite a bit of damage during their approach but made up for it after they broke the enemy line. I wonder what would have happened if French and Spanish gunnery had been up to British standards. The lack of rotating turrets may have had something to do with it as well. Many of the French and Spanish ships could not bring their guns to bear because they had limited ability to fire off beam.
The French and Spanish ships undoubtedly crossed Nelson's T at the start of the engagement, a position that should have given them the upper hand. After the ships under Villeneuve's command failed to take advantage of this opportunity, Nelson's ships sailed through the Franco/Spanish line resulting in a flip flop of who was crossing the T. Additionally, this reversal permitted the British to fire both port and starboard cannons at the enemy fleet, doubling the advantage of crossing the T.

Regardless, the French and Spanish fleet were the ships to first cross the T. Their failure to capitalize on the most desired naval combat maneuver in the manual is the reason the Franco/Spanish fleet lost the battle.
 
Likes: Chlodio
Dec 2016
97
Spain
#23
Sorry for my ignorance but ships arranged in line formations in this period (1904-1905) wouldn't be risky/dangerous? The guns had better/higher caliber with far better accuracy than ships of the line in Napoleonic era. Also torpedoes, a desvastating weapon easily affordable, as far as I know, in almost any ship class may represent a high risk for ships arranged in lines. In this period there were not only several destroyers and torpedo boats, but also protected cruisers and battleships that carried their own torpedoes and could had been desvastating if enemy fleets were close from each other. I guess that if the typical battle formation was once again arranged in line formations, at least, they should have been placed far from enemy fleet to avoid risks such as approaching destroyers and torpedo boats or being hitted by torpedoes coming from enemy cruisers and battleships.
 
Mar 2019
850
Kansas
#24
Sorry for my ignorance but ships arranged in line formations in this period (1904-1905) wouldn't be risky/dangerous? The guns had better/higher caliber with far better accuracy than ships of the line in Napoleonic era. Also torpedoes, a desvastating weapon easily affordable, as far as I know, in almost any ship class may represent a high risk for ships arranged in lines. In this period there were not only several destroyers and torpedo boats, but also protected cruisers and battleships that carried their own torpedoes and could had been desvastating if enemy fleets were close from each other. I guess that if the typical battle formation was once again arranged in line formations, at least, they should have been placed far from enemy fleet to avoid risks such as approaching destroyers and torpedo boats or being hitted by torpedoes coming from enemy cruisers and battleships.
When they talk of a line in that period they are referring to a battle line. This will be your battleships and battle cruisers and possibly the heavier elements of your cruisers. In front of them would be a screen of light cruisers ready to intercept any destroyers who might be maneuvering for a torpedo attack. Out in front of the them are your destroyers. Basically scouting for the enemy fleet and hopeful of launching their own torps.
 
Mar 2019
850
Kansas
#25
The French and Spanish ships undoubtedly crossed Nelson's T at the start of the engagement, a position that should have given them the upper hand. After the ships under Villeneuve's command failed to take advantage of this opportunity, Nelson's ships sailed through the Franco/Spanish line resulting in a flip flop of who was crossing the T. Additionally, this reversal permitted the British to fire both port and starboard cannons at the enemy fleet, doubling the advantage of crossing the T.

Regardless, the French and Spanish fleet were the ships to first cross the T. Their failure to capitalize on the most desired naval combat maneuver in the manual is the reason the Franco/Spanish fleet lost the battle.
A couple of things have to be considered here. The wind was very light. About 6 knots. Most of the ships in both fleets were not doing much better than four knots. By the time the van of the combined fleet got turned around and beating up wind to join the fight it was all but over. The second thing was the lack of aiming with cannons. Victory was only engaged by three ships as she sailed in. Not the majority of the enemy fleet simply because the guns could not be swiveled enough to come into action.

Nelson staked everything on the slow fire of the French and Spanish. About 1 round a minute, as opposed to his fleets ability to fire between 2 and 3 salvos a minute.
 

Edratman

Ad Honorem
Feb 2009
6,564
Eastern PA
#27
A couple of things have to be considered here. The wind was very light. About 6 knots. Most of the ships in both fleets were not doing much better than four knots. By the time the van of the combined fleet got turned around and beating up wind to join the fight it was all but over. The second thing was the lack of aiming with cannons. Victory was only engaged by three ships as she sailed in. Not the majority of the enemy fleet simply because the guns could not be swiveled enough to come into action.

Nelson staked everything on the slow fire of the French and Spanish. About 1 round a minute, as opposed to his fleets ability to fire between 2 and 3 salvos a minute.
That does not alter the fact that the French/Spanish fleet crossed the T of the British fleet.
 
Dec 2016
97
Spain
#29
The Russian Baltic Fleet made a journey around the world, about 18,000 miles just to be defeated in a single naval battle. This is some of the features of this war I find difficult to understand.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,810
Dispargum
#30
The Russian Baltic Fleet made a journey around the world, about 18,000 miles just to be defeated in a single naval battle. This is some of the features of this war I find difficult to understand.
It shows the importance of naval bases. Ships need maintenance. At Tsushima the Russian ships were falling apart so badly were they in need of repairs. The hard part might be in understanding why the Russian high command thought sending those ships was a good idea. They must have known or should have known how hard the journey would be on those ships.
 

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