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History Questions Not Worth Their Own Thread VII

Discussion in 'World History' started by Plotinus, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Louis XXIV

    Louis XXIV Le Roi Soleil

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    IIRC, very early in the German submarine campaign in World War I, they actually did things the old way and had a ship surrender. But they quickly realized that defeated the point of a submarine.

    It's a very uneducated guess, but World War I makes sense to me, unless people know of earlier examples (I could see the Russo-Japanese War being a good example if someone knows what happened. Then again, I could see either side breaking the "convention" that everyone else accepted).
     
  2. r16

    r16 not deity

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    the tale of Hornet comes to mind , where Americans failed to finish it off and it was left to Japanese destroyers to sink it . Japanese took over a lot of Russian battleships but ı guess those were all ships that were sunk while in port , easy to raise afterwards . ı think it's possible that a Russian battleship surrendered after battle but can't be sure without reference books . The latest capturing of a ship by boarding must be then around mid 1800s .
     
  3. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    Unless of course you count anti-smuggling and anti-piracy operations today, which quite regularly board and confiscate 'enemy' ships.
     
  4. r16

    r16 not deity

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    of course . And including the pirates themselves . But ı would say it would be quite an operation to capture a warship of any Navy these days .
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Following WWII, the US did capture a number of German ships. But this was post war, not post combat. There was a heavy cruiser which was later sunk as part of the atomic bomb testing. And a number of Type XXI U-boats, which formed the template for postwar submarine design in every nation which built submarines in the 1950s. I think there were a few incidents of U-boats being captured in the Atlantic by the forces hunting them. IIRC, that was kept secret at the time because we didn't want Germany to know we'd done so, in case we gained any useful intel from them. U-505 provided Americans with code books, and an Enigma machine. That submarine still exists. It's in Chicago at the Museum of Science and Industry.

    As Louis said, Germany began WWI capturing ships with submarines. But found that to be unworkable as the war progressed. German surface commerce raiders captured ships in the early part of WWII, but that was warships capturing merchant vessels, not warships capturing warships.

    At the naval battles of Guadalcanal, Japan left one crippled battleship afloat and abandoned. But rather than leaving it for capture, they were hoping that it would lead American forces to pursue and waste time on it. But that ship sank on it's own from the damage it had already taken.
     
  6. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    The Royal Navy also took the High Seas Fleet captive after the Great War, but their crews scuttled their ships at Scapa Flow to prevent the British from using them.
     
  7. Michkov

    Michkov Emperor

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    Thanks. Seems like its preferable to deny you enemy the use of your ship against you is the main driving force in this. Which makes me wonder are Age of Sail ships so weak on their own to not make it worth sinking them. Or are wooden ships harder to sink?
     
  8. dutchfire

    dutchfire Deity

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  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Well, wood floats. :p With the exception of those times when a ship was set on fire or the powder magazine exploded, many ships didn't sink. Cannonballs would put all sorts of holes, or break up all sorts of things, above the water line. This could be really hard on the crew, but didn't tend to sink the ship. So a crew could be beaten to submission, the ship rendered not functional, but still have water integrity of the lower hull. And so was repairable.
     
  10. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Overpopulation on Earth is not a doing of Caucasians.
     
  11. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Or rhinos.

    Imagine a rhino cavalry detachment, pure panic in enemy ranks, no doubt.
     
  12. daft

    daft The fargone

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    Wait a sec. Poles used Cavalry in WWII.
     
  13. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    But accomplished very little by doing so.
     
  14. cybrxkhan

    cybrxkhan Asian Xwedodah

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    I believe the Polish cavalry charge in WWII is a myth.

    And cavalry/horses was useful in WWII... mainly for trasportation. Mounted infantry, if you will. Especially given that many armies weren't as completely motorized as one would think. Easy way to get your antitank weapons and artillery from point A to point B for example. Even German blitzkrieg tactics relied on a lot of horses especially at the beginning of the war.
     
  15. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The discussion earlier does talk about the use of horses in military actions after WWI. They're still used today. But while horses still have a place in the military, in certain situations, the days of cavalry as seen in say the American Civil War or earlier has long passed.
     
  16. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus

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    It should be noted that 'cavalry', doctrinally speaking, is a function rather than a piece of equipment - much like 'infantry' can still ride around in large boxes on tracks. The role of the 'cavalry' - which is practically synonymous with 'armour' today - divides roughly into three. You have 'light cavalry' (Lt Cav), which in the British Army usually have names like 'dragoons', whose job is to move fast across the ground to perform reconnaissance, usually behind enemy lines, in advance of the main force. Then you have 'Armoured Cavalry', often with names like 'lancers', who are also recce-focused but have slightly heavier vehicles like the CVR(T), which gives them a greater inf support role and the means to deliver force in quantity at a small point. Finally you have the 'armour' proper, who are mostly 'hussars', who pack MBTs like the Challenger 2, whose job is to find and kill other MBTs or vehicles, or failing that simply to blow up anything that thinks it's well-protected. These are all 'cavalry' because they combine speed and localised force, in some ratio or another. By contrast, a howitzer pulled by horses wouldn't be 'cavalry'; it would still be artillery.

    Mounted/Mechanised/Armoured infantry are a different kettle of fish altogether - the infantry role is to provide force in breadth to take and hold ground. If you're Mech Inf, your vehicle is primarily a means of getting across the battlefield quickly and safely, and you then jump out of it to actually give and accept contact: if you're armoured, you do practically the same, except that your metal box is more able to provide protection and fire support. You never sit in the vehicle and fire out of it - that would make you a very easy target for every bit of enemy heavy fire, and also totally neuter your ability to operate tactically and attack the enemy properly. A cavalry unit, by contrast, will nearly always stay in the vehicles and use them to provide fire, while an infantry unit is actually moving up forward on foot, getting close to the enemy, killing them and taking ground.
     
  17. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    I have a huge interest in WWII - (see my mod) - and am getting close to writing a book about a German tank commander, and the hard decisions he had to make to get through it.

    I will probably also involve him in the early days of German tank development, as possibly a test tank commander before WWII.

    So I will be involving my main character in significant tank battles and events, so I will be looking for a panzer division that has moved around the battlefields on WWII the most. I have all the Panzer division histories so that should not be too hard.

    Later, he will then come across the atrocities committed by Nazis and how he will try to deal with these.

    Finally, he will be involved in the defence of Berlin itself.

    I may even include an epilogue where he continues to serve in the West German army Panzer divisions.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So you can see that it is essentially a linear novel.

    - Should I focus on technicalities or emotions?
    - Should the main character be pivotal to the battle outcome?
    - Should I open with a Chapter titled "This is the End", where he is defending Berlin and then the rest of chapters are how he got to that point?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Other than the details above, how else do you think I should prepare to write a historic novel.
     
  18. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    There were books pre-war which discussed proposed tank tactics for the war. Getting some of that would help. In particular, read about Guderian, and try to get some of the books he wrote. Achtung - Panzer! was supposed to be a lot of the basis of German tank doctrine at the early parts of the war. Read up a bit on Rommel and Patton. This should give you material for historical accuracy.

    Depending on how senior you're making your character, that will tell you something about how pivotal he'll be. That is, if he's starting the war a colonel, he'll end it a general. But if he's starting it a lieutenant, he may end it a major or a colonel. The more junior may win engagements, but not major battles.

    Novels are driven by the people in them. Their emotions, conflicts, desires, problems. While in many cases a more technically 'correct' story may be more real, it may be hard to do that and still find a publisher and an audience. That's often not what sells. That's not to say you can't get that. But you'd then have to try and do both. Think Red Storm Rising.

    Good luck. :)
     
  19. SeekTruthFromFacts

    SeekTruthFromFacts King

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    What makes characters interesting is the choices they make. We know how the war ends, so you'd better give him some other interesting choices. Jewish/Russian/Dutch son-in-law?
     
  20. kiwitt

    kiwitt Road to War Modder

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    Good points: Keep the characters 'real'. I am reading some Sven Hassel novels as well.
     

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