Speaking of what-ifs....

Every time the Squadron flyer arrives I entertain this fantasy about building all the Kriegsmarine ships and portraying them as a combined
fleet. Unfortunately they aren't all in the same scales and I sure don't have the money or time to build them anyway. At least I tickle my mind with the possibility.
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
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And when you get bored with that, you can start on the entire IJN fleet with shore facilities.....
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wrote:

And when you get bored with that, you can start on the entire IJN fleet with shore facilities.....
********* An easy start would be with the immediate post-war IJN fleet..... a huge blue board to represent the sea! How many IJN ships actually survived the war?
Nick
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wrote:

I grew up in Japan in the 60s, actually a lot. It was safer to keep them tied up at the pier than to sail them. Well that's one way to do it....there are some interesting photos in some of the 'what if we invaded type' books, or some of the 'captured combatants'. Almost looks as sorry as some of the ex Soviet fleets.
Probably would have been better if the IJN sat home, let the IJA run loose, then when all the idiots were killed off, sue for peace.
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wrote:

As Frank notes, a lot of the smaller stuff survived, and additionally many of the major units sunk in the last months of the war hit the bottom in shallow water in harbours (many werent even fully submerged) and the salvage/scrapping went on for years. The battleship Mutsu wasnt even scrapped until the 1970s (the front part, anyhow, I think theres still a bit of stern down there) and one of her twin 16 inch turrets was preserved at Etajima, its so freakin big you can see it on Google earth Its probably the biggest bit of an Axis major naval unit still accessible, but KM Gneisenaus aft triple 11-inch is on top of a hill somewhere in Norway.
Mutsus sister, Nagato managed to make most of the way to her final resting place (Bikini Atoll) under her own power, but was in a pitiful state and taking in water from battle damage that had had been patched but not properly repaired. Even so, it took two nukes to sink her. She was accompanied by the light cruiser Sakawa (which accidentally took the full force of Test Able the intended target was the Nevada and succumbed to it) which had previously been used repatriating Japanese military personnel to their homeland from wherever they had been upsetting people. Also used for this task were the light cruiser Kashima and the aircraft carriers Hosho and Katsuragi, so these at least were afloat at the end of the war, albeit not in a fit state to fight there were no aircrews for the carriers. There were quite a few surviving destroyers also used in repatriation work, I dont have time to check them all, but I do know the last survivor of the Kagero class, the Yukikaze was involved before being handed over to the Chinese, whom she served for more than two decades, being broken up in 1970 after going ashore in a storm. Probably the oldest vessel involved in this task was the ancient Armoured Cruiser Yakumo (launched in Germany in 1899) forty years before she had been part of the battle line a Tsushima. What is remarkable is that with only a couple of months of WW2 still to go, all bar a couple (or three Im not sure whether the Mikasa was already in the concrete berth she still occupies today) of the (4) Pre- Dreadnought Battleships and (8) Armoured Cruisers that formed the first two divisions of the Japanese Fleet at Tsushima in 1905 were still afloat and performing some kind of function. The exceptions were the old BB Asahi, torpedoed by a US submarine in 1942 while acting as a Submarine support vessel, and the Armoured Cruiser Nisshin, expended as a target in 1936. Even after TF38 made its Grand Tour of Japanese harbours in June and July sinking anything vaguely ship shaped, the Pre Dreadnoughts Fuji and Shikishima, (and also the Suo formerly the Russian Pobieda which had been captured at Port Arthur in 1905) and the Armoured Cruiser Asama were still afloat. Mostly they were simply Accommodation Hulks, but dont laugh, the USN were using vessels of a similar vintage for the same purpose, while the RN were still using wooden leftovers from the wars against Napoleon

Regards,
Moramarth
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wrote:

As Frank notes, a lot of the smaller stuff survived, and additionally many of the major units sunk in the last months of the war hit the bottom in shallow water in harbours (many werent even fully submerged) and the salvage/scrapping went on for years. (snip) while the RN were still using wooden leftovers from the wars against Napoleon *****
Wow! Thanks for the detail. That last comment reminded me of a visit to the National Maritime Museum in London last year. They have the stern gallery of HMS Implacable hanging on one wall. She was launched by the French in 1800, captured by the RN in 1805 and used for vaired roles including a training school until 1949. In that year she was declared too expensive to maintain and sunk off the south coast. Just a little investment and she'd have been a money making museum to this day....
Nick
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Actually, there was a fairly substantial fleet left at the end of the war, albeit not one at all battle-worthy.
The U.S. Naval Institute - in 1991 - published a translation/reprint of a compilation of Japanese ships left at the end of the war - first produced in 1947 by Shizuo Fukui. It has a great many line drawings and photographs.
One chart shows that - both in Japan and elsewhere - there were 6 carriers (all damaged), 4 battleships (all damaged, 11 cruisers (8 damaged), 42 destroyers (12 damaged), and 58 submarines (4 damaged) still "around."
Another chart shows that, in 1947, the U.S., Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union divided among themselves 26 destroyers, 67 destroyer escorts, 11 minelayers, 14 minesweepers, 5 subchasers, 1 torpedo boat, 8 transports, and 3 supply vessels.
Many of the above had been used in repatriation duties, but it's interesting to note that the U.S. used 100 LST's - manned by Japanese sailors - to augment that repatriation effort.
The book is probably still available through USNI if one wants a good end-of-war look at the Japanese fleet.
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I grew up in Japan (yeah, the gods shined on me, jeez was that luck or what...), when you drove into the main gate at Yokosuka NB, there was a huge white chain there. Ok, some anchor chain from somebody. Turns out if you read the book on the USS Oregon, it was sold to Japan as scrap, and the Japanese decided to save the anchor chain on that honorable ship. One of those, jeez we want to save this but nobody cares...
Also going into Yokosuka if you drove, there were 7 tunnels to get there. During the war, civilians were kept out of the first tunnel, that ensured security of the base. At the 7th tunnel, you saw the Uraga docks (Sp??) with a huge crane, then you got to the base. Anyway, the Uraga docks closed early 2003 or something. Family owned and like a lot of businesses, finally went under. Lots of history there though.
All this is on the internet, lots of interesting links to google. But what I want to go back for, among a ton of other reasons is the models of the Yamato in 1/10 scale that was used for a movie. Besides the Mikasa which you could see from the Yokosuka NEX, there was a window in the dining room of the cafeteria, they upgraded it in the late 60s for steaks and stuff. You could see it right there. Was a heck of a drive to get around to get to it though. Out the front gate and all over. But that Yamato model sounds really interesting to go see.
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you could always use forced perspective...but then your ships may have to be very far away from each other..
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I have sizable, if not complete, French and Italian WW2 fleets which include some "what ifs" such as "Gascoigne" and "Aquila". They're even complete and painted!!! The downside is they are 1:3000 scale and one-piece metal castings intended for wargaming (and have seen some tabletop action)... However, I also have some plastic IJN in the same scale which did come in component form, albeit damn few bits. It was a single box I found in Liverpool many years ago, and contained a mix of BB,CV, CA, CL and DD. It appeared there were about four boxes in the series containing most of the IJNs major units for WW2. Also in 1:3000 I have both fleets for Tsushima in 1905 (less one Japanese Protected Cruiser squadron, but the collection includes some vessels from the conflict not present at the battle) although there is only a representative Destroyer/TB force and it entailed some scratchbuilding (but the stuff which wasn't available at the time has mostly appeared since). However, given these were collected many years ago, the castings are quite crude, as are those of some British and French vessels I aquired in case of intervention on behalf of their respective allies. In the unpainted pile there is some WW1 stuff as at one point I fancied gaming the Imperial German BC force vs. "The Wobbly Eight" Pre-Dreadnought force in the Channel. But if you were to win the lottery and went looking for multi-part white metal kits in 1:1200/1:1250 scale I'd be surprised If there were many major WW1 or WW2 fleets where you couldn't build a comprehensive collection.
Regards,
Moramarth
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