RPG Forums

Go Back   RPG Forums > Role Playing Game Section > Archive

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-14-2010, 10:08 PM
kato13's Avatar
kato13 kato13 is online now
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chicago, Il USA
Posts: 3,282
Send a message via ICQ to kato13
Default Sealift in TW2000

Sealift in TW2000

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This question comes in 2 parts. First, what kind of sealift capability did the U.S have available at the start of the war. Second, what could our European Allies contribute. Just something I was pondering while a show was on dealing with the Battle of the Atlantic. And looking at the Liberty and Victory transports, do you think projects like that would have been started during WW3?

antimedic

************
Matt Wiser

U.S. Merchant Marine capacity is about 300 ships under U.S. registry; but one may assume that American-owned ships under foreign flags of convinence (Liberia, Panama, Bahamas, etc.) would have been reflagged back under the Stars and Stripes once war was imminent. The allies (Brits, Norweigans, Germans, Dutch, Japanese, South Korea) would have contributed more shipping for convoys in both the Atlantic and Pacific, as well as shipping for the Mideast theater. Liberty and Victory ships in WW III? A lot of that capacity (there were 99 shipyards in the U.S. in WW II) has been lost. How would losses be made up? Simple. Many neutral ships in American and Allied ports would be requesitioned, and ships from countries like Italy and Greece (who became enemies) seized outright. The neutral ships when seized would be returned to their owners "once the war emergency is concluded". But once the nukes started to go off...Forget it. There is plenty of precedent in both WW I and II for this, as German ships in American ports were seized in 1917 after taking refuge in U.S. waters after WW I broke out in 1914, and a number of German and Italian ships in American ports were seized before Pearl Harbor when Axis assets in the U.S. were seized on FDR's orders, and a Vichy French freighter in Manila was seized by Navy personnel on December 10, 1941; a prize crew put aboard, and the ship sailed to Australia on Dec 16th, and made it Down Under two weeks later.

Matt Wiser

************
chico20854

I've looked at this is great detail for a number of years. I also am fortunate enough to work in the field (my agency has the wartime mission of coordinating shipping for the US and coordinating with NATO's planning groups). Basically, as a result of Desert Storm the US built and/or purchased enough ships to deploy a heavy Corps to SW Asia in less than 60 days without having to resort to chartering civilian ships, US or otherwise. The military figured it could supply the ammo, food and other dry supplies via the normal commercial transportation system, using mostly US-flag liner services. (Fuel was another issue, but since the planning revolved around the Middle East, the transport demands were fairly minimal).

Now how does this translate into the T2k canon or modified v1 canon we tend to use here? (Thanks Webstral!) Without getting into the nitty-gritty details...

1) The US had bought enough roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) ships by '95 to move a heavy corps to SW Asia in more than 60 days (only a handful of the 19 big new-construction ships had been delivered by the time the Twilight War broke out). It had a bunch of old ships in reserve around the US (including a number of the WWII Victory ships). Now getting enough sailors qualified to man the reserve ships, with old steam propulsion systems...

2) There was a lot of excess shipbuilding capacity in the US in the 1990s. The WWII Liberty ship program was actually started by the British buying ships from the US, since their yards were unable to meet the demands of both naval and merchant ship construction. Likewise, I have the PRC ordering large numbers of ships from the US starting in the fall of '95. (By the time the first gets delivered, the US is deep into the war and requisitions it, but that is a later detail...). A number of inactive shipyards are reopened and yards which had stopped building ships but remained in the repair business resumed building. The US Dept of Transportation and the Navy split oversight of shipyards, so that some (such as Newport News and Electric Boat) worked solely on Naval construction and others built solely civilian construction (although naval auxilaries such as tankers were built by civilian yards under DoT supervision). As far as I know, this is a wholly fictional creation of my mind, but parallels what occurred in WWII.

3) I assume the POMCUS stockpiles of equipment remained in place. This reduces the demand for large amounts of equipment to be deployed to Europe. (Added that the US Army vehicle guide has most active duty heavy divisions deploying to Europe prior to or just at the outbreak of hostilities in Europe). The National Guard divisions trickle into the European theater throughout the spring of 1997, with a big gap at the beginning of the war. The RDF sourcebook states that equipment was stockpiled in Saudi Arabia in the summer of 96 as tensions rose. I assumed this referred to the brigade's worth of equipment for a Army division maintained aboard ship in Diego Garcia and a Marine Brigade's worth of equipment also maintained afloat in the Indian Ocean. So what I'm trying to say is that there isn't a whole lot of equipment to be moved, thanks to the tension before the war, and that the US had enough internal capacity without having to rely on any nation's merchant fleet.

4) Once the shooting starts things get more complicated. A weakness of the canon is the lack of much on the naval war. Also, the source material is either classified or difficult to get (anyone got a copy of FM 101-10-1/2 around???) or is predicated on a full NATO, with Italy and Greece. Greece is especially important, as Greece is one of the largest shipowning nations. So it's hard to judge what the needs are and what ships are available. However, one of the last cold-war studies that was done on shipping demand came to the conclusion that military cargo would constitute less than 5 percent of a mobilized NATO's shipping demands and that NATO owned enough ships to meet the total demands (basically because civilian consumption would be cut back drastically in wartime). Nuetral shipping could be chartered in to make up shortfalls, or NATO ships deployed into the combat zone and nuetral ships used to replace them in other trades. Now how the loss of Greece, Italy and France and the closure of the Med and combat losses affect the analysis, I don't know.

5) Another analysis is on the defense of merchant ships. A study done in the late 1970s (I'm using what I have access too...) looks at the volume of shipping on the North Atlantic in peace and war, the likely Soviet threat, and the convoy system (number of escorts, number of ships they can protect, reduction in effective speed due to stationkeeping & zigzagging, time lost gathering ships for a convoy, surge in port facilities upon arrival) and decided that convoying was inpractical. So there was a lot of thought put into defended sea lanes and some other techniques, but NATO never had enough escorts (ships, helos and aircraft) to make it work. Convoying just military cargo doesn't make too much sense - the Soviets could either concentrate on the convoy (or nuke it!) and know they're going to hit something valuable or go for pure economic warfare, starving NATO into submission by hitting the undefended civilian shipments. Finally, add in a global basis to the war (Soviet surface groups operating in the Caribbean (Spanish Main refers to the USS New Jersey and the Kirov battling it out off Grenada) and off Baja California (leading to the grounding of the USS Virginia in Satellite Down)) and defense of NATO shipping becomes a lost cause, even with an aggressive naval shipbuilding program (I have US yards cranking out updated Perry-class frigates (which were designed to be built cheaply in modules) based on some examples the Taiwanese had built in the early 1990s and more USCG Bear-class cutters as cheap convoy escorts, similar in spirit to WWII British corvettes).

6) I see a lot of requesitioning and seizure of enemy ships going on. It's legal, and has been widely practiced. I don't put a lot of weight in planning on it, though, as I figure it will not be sufficient to make up for combat losses of NATO ships. (And the loss projections are still, as far as I know, classified, or were tossed out with the end of the Cold War).

7) The resupply of forces in the field and the specific demands they have are, while significant, not that big of a deal when compared to the amount of economic cargo. For example, replacement combat vehicles are not produced in such large numbers that the US would run out of dedicated Ro-Ro ships (and likely so small that dedicated Ro-Ro ships would be the wrong way to ship them... how long will a ship have to sit in port waiting for the factory to produce three battalion's worth of tanks? And then would you want all your replacement tanks on one ship or spread out among 12, knowing that the Navy can't protect the ships very well).

8) Once the nukes start flying everything breaks down. This works both ways, however. While NATO stops building ships and producing war material, the Soviet Navy also loses its ability to operate. The world economic system breaks down, which actually helps the shipping situation. Shipping gets much simpler. NATO militaries must get what shipping they can get their hands on to move fuel, and a limited amount of supplies and troops. The civilian sector is no longer capable of manufacturing much of anything, so it no longer needs 50,000 ton bulk carriers full of bauxite. A NATO admiral is able to dump that 50,000 tons and use the ship, with crude constructions in the holds, to move troops or he can fill it with oil from the RDF. And since the Red Banner Northern fleet is mostly on the bottom of the Norwegian Sea or tied up in Cuba distilling rum for the engine of their Kilo-class sub, the one 1950s Forrest Sherman class destroyer the admiral has available as an escort will be quite adequate.

So that's my view on how the sealift situation would look. Sorry if this got a bit long-winded. Let me know your thoughts or if there is something you want more details on. I have a 3 foot+ high stack of source material at home...

chico20854

************
TiggerCCW UK

Hell of a reply Chico!!!!! Plenty of detail for us all there!
__________________
Its 106 miles to friendly lines, we've a full tank of meth, half a box of AP ammo, its dark and we're wearing 1st generation NVG's - hit it!

TiggerCCW UK

************
Webstral

Chico,

Good stuff! Thanks for putting it up. I note that your assessment of the impact of Soviet attacks on Western shipping is much more pessimistic than that of James Dunnigan (How to Make War) in the early 90's. Any thoughts on the different interpretations?

Webstral

************
chico20854

Webstral,

I tend to be more pessimistic for a few reasons:

I agree with Dunnigan's analysis in many ways. I agree that the Soviets do not have enough subs to interdict economic shipping. I base this on a few assumptions, first that the Soviet surface fleet and naval aviation will be concentrated on NATO naval forces (carrier groups, battleship groups and amphibious groups) rather than on merchant shipping. Those assets are too vulnerable to NATO interdiction in the Norwegian Sea to use in a battle of attrition in the North Atlantic. Likewise, the best Soviet submarines (Alfas, Akulas, Sierras, Oscars and maybe Victor IIIs and Charlie IIs) would be used against NATO naval forces or to defend SSBNs. The Kilos would be used for shorter range ops, leaving older diesel and nuc boats (Tangos, Victor Is and IIs, Charlie Is plus obsolescent Whiskeys, Romeos, Echoes, Juliets and Novembers) for operations against merchant shipping. In a non-nuclear naval battle, most of these boats would be slaughtered by NATO escorts. But that also hinges on NATO escort assignment practices - by the time you have escorts for the carrier battle groups (the US can field 18 by reactivating Midway and Coral Sea plus 3 British groups), battleships (plus reactivated Salem-class CAs), amphibious groups and replentishment ships to support all those battle groups, NATO doesn't have that many high-quality escorts left. Knox, Brooke and Garcia-class FFs, Forrest Sherman DDs, USCG cutters and a sprinkling of Perry FFGs and Spruance DDs. (I assume a full mobilization of Navy assets, reactivating ships that had been retired in the late 80s). So in many ways the convoy battle would be the ASW battle of the 1970s.

Also, the Soviets can leverage the tonnage war by hitting vulnerabilities. A good air raid or SCUD missile hit on a port can shut it down, while a SPETNAZ raid could really muck it up. Modern shipping terminals and merchant ships tend to be specific, so if you disrupt one of the two the other is fairly useless. Older, more versatile ships can be used but they are smaller, less reliable and take longer to load and unload. A squadron of fast attack boats hiding among the islands in Indonesia could savage oil traffic to NE Asia, much as US PT boats harassed Japanese shipping in WWII. Mining harbors and choke points (Boomer states that the English Channel was mined) imposes costs and inefficiencies in shipping.

Dunnigan's analysis (I only had access to the 1983 version) had a few flaws in it - it ignores the vast advantage the Allies had in WWII from Ultra intercepts and it assumes that NATO can devote the same massive resources to the ASW battle that the Allies had later in the war. The intelligence battle would be more even in the Twilight War - Soviet satellite intelligence would make the scouting screens used by the Germans unneccessary (assuming the Soviet boats were equipped/retrofitted with a satcom receiver they could use while submerged), while SOSUS/SURTASS would provide NATO with intel comparable to Allied RDF of WWII.

The difference comes from the assets NATO can use to prosecute the intel. I assume that the CVBG's ASW assets will be used for self-defense only. I also task the Iwo Jima class of amphibious carriers with an escort carrier mission flying SH-3 Sea Kings and AV-8A old model Harriers from AMARC (leaving the LHAs and LHDs as the core of amphibious groups). With only 25 USN squadrons of P-3s worldwide for protection of battlegroups and merchant shipping, it would be difficult for NATO to pounce on a SOSUS contact that was far away from a friendly airbase or surface unit.

Aditionally, you have the target-rich environment for the Soviets. The volume of economic shipping is much too massive - 1000 sailings a month, plus another 250-300 of military cargo according to the late 1970s study (I tore my house apart this weekend but couldn't find the late 1980s study) - for convoys to work. And the Atlantic is a big place, so with good intel the Soviets could quickly sink an unescorted merchant ship and slink away before NATO forces could arrive. I'm not sure how good Soviet naval satellite intel was (I assume it could distinguish merchant from combatant but not sure if it could distinguish between very large tanker and container ship), but if it was capable of distinguishing ship types it would allow subs to concentrate on a specific aspect of economic warfare, likely to cut off Europe's supply of crude oil. (Something the Germans never really tried to do when waging economic warfare via sub - they sank whatever was headed to England... maybe the limits of target acquisition).

But no matter how rich the target environment, Dunnigan is right that the Soviets can't put enough torpedos out there to sink even 20% of the traffic. There are psychological factors- that even one sinking is enough to convince sailors and shipowners that the area is submarine infested and that they shouldn't risk it, and that requires a resource-wasting response from NATO navies, so that the Soviets would be able to divert NATO navies from the North Atlantic by having a few raiders running around the South Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Pacific. However, I'm still struggling to balance out that on one hand England was almost starved into submission by a handful of German U-boats with the above situation...

So how does NATO structure their forces for the naval battle? (I'll try to find the file with my completly unofficial off-the cuff NATO naval disposition or retype it from the printout I have). Keeping with the canon as it may be, carrier battle groups and surface action groups to take the battle to the Norwegian Sea and Kola peninsula, amphibious operations in the Med, Baltic and Norwegian area (plus Korea and Iran), a number of ASW hunter-killer groups (based around escort carriers and composed of modern ASW ships), as many convoy escort groups that can be hobbled together, including a number for use worlwide, such as the South Atlantic, that are composed of ships too old to hack it in the North Atlantic.

And my final reason for being more pessimistic is that it helps the canon to work. A more realistic analysis would make it hard to justify why the USS Bellau Wood is the core of the world's last carrier battle group, why Operation Omega is executed with a few crudely converted tankers, cargo ships and river steamers under the command of a Spruance-class destroyer, and why recovery is so slow given that the Persian Gulf oil fields are still producing (after all, one tanker and escort from CENTCOM could sail to the US or other area, fuel up some abandoned tankers for return to CENTCOM and then sail for the US, bringing 500,000 tons of crude (or semi-refined diesel fuel)...

Sorry that this one is the most long-winded yet!

chico20854
************
graebarde

"Sorry that this one is the most long-winded yet!"

Chico,
You hear no complaints, only thanks, from me on the 'long winded' posts of most excellent information.

Some one asked about the 100-10-1/2. I think it was on this forum, but I have an OLD copy, IF I can find it. Yes it has some very good planning information in it, and I have worn one out. Finding a new one is like pulling hens teeth so far.

graebarde

************
chico20854

O.K., after a frantic week of typing and revising and digging through books and old papers, I have prepared my totally unofficial NATO naval escort disposition. I've had to embed it in a zip file to get it attached. I'll also put this file up on the Yahoo T2k orbat group.

I am not a Navy type per se (Army logistics and US shipbuilding are my areas) so if you see some glaring errors please let me know. (Please read through the design notes at the end). I need to add in Lee Yate's naval air orbat and figure out reasonable airgroups for escort carriers (INPUT WELCOME!)

Grae, I've been looking for 100-10-1/2 for years. I'm kicking myself for not grabbing one out of the orderly room before I got out. Globalsecurity.org has an excerpt posted. That (plus a week's vacation time to do it in) is really what's holding me up from finishing my full-blown sealift analysis. Oh well...

Another project would be to wargame out some of the naval battle using Harpoon, either the tabletop game or the PC version, and see how it works out...
Attached Files T2k Naval Escort Obat.zip (36.4 KB, 48 views)


chico20854

************
realamerican
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wow, good stuff.

You know, you should talk to Matt Wiser, he posts on this forum. If I recall, he's a Navy guy and has done ALOT of work on Naval orbats including Carrier Air Wings.

if you two ever get together and collaborate, I'll buy the beer.


realamerican

************
Antenna

Well, chico good stuff, sorry for posting my own stuff and reinvent the wheel

But there is a question of canon story here ? The list I made is the real world decomissions from 1988 to roughly 1994/96.

The canon story tells us about Tanner that wanted to cut US military budgets and use them instead rebuilding USA infrastructure.

The ships in the list I made is indeed the ships that was decomissioned during the timespan I mentioned. Well, I don't know of any ships graveyard in USA so for a little bit research I made the NRRC (Naval Resourse Reserve Center) and placed it in Beaumont TX. Where all ships go first hand before scrapping. Well, when war started these ships was looked at to get a second chanse of naval battle. lets say that 50% of these ships in my list is still there waiting for the high seas.

Just another point of view from me

Still have to say after chico PMed me I downloaded the list/excel and started to look at it

Antenna


************
thefusilier

This is some good info. Anyone have a list like this that shows which ships would have been scrapped or sold before those plans could be stopped due to the Twilight war starting?
__________________
The Fusilier

thefusilier

************
Antenna

Here is where I found my info....

Roughly what I did was going thru every type of ship... if a ship was sold for scrap it could be recalled for duty within 2-3 years after it was sold for scrap (this info can be estracted if you read the site info properly).


Antenna

************
Antenna
Evil Game Master

I compiled a list of WW2 ships that was sold to Mexico, Taiwan and South Korea before my mothball list is anyone interrested in that list ?

Also what kind of rough figures would you find existing naval power still left in the world ?

NATO
Current : 5-10%
Mothballed : 10-20% and 40% still in the yard waiting


Antenna

************
chico20854

I got my decommisioned ship lists from a few sources, which I'll detail below...

The problem you get when using real-life decommisioning data after 1989 is that in order to save money the US Navy retired ships that still had useful life remaining (such as the Pegasus class missile boats). Many were sold to allied navies (such as Pakistan, Greece and Turkey) where they remain in service. In my twisted little T2k world the ships were either retained in service or decommisioned but kept in reserve.

In addition, the US Navy had several classes of inactive ships, only some of which are officially Navy ships... some (such as the USS Salem) have been "stricken from the vessel register" which means that they are not intended to be reactivated and have their name removed etc. They may remain in this status for years before scrapping, serving as a deep mobilization reserve or source of spare parts. For example, the USS Bennington, a WWII-built carrier was decommisioned in 1970 but not stricken until 1989 and scrapped in 1994, a full 24 years later! I took some liberties and reactivated many of those ships, with spare parts coming from museum ships (or you can take your friendly local museum ship, as the Sea Lord of Jacksonville did, and reactivate it!).

The US Navy has several storage sites for inactive ships, called Navy Inactive Ship Maintenance Facilities or NISMFs. There were NISMFs in Bremerton Washington, Philadelphia Navy yard, Pearl Harbor (the ships in the movie Pearl Harbor), Portsmouth VA (Norfolk area), and near San Francisco. In addition, the US Department of Transportation has fleets of inactive merchant ships and naval auxiliaries in San Francisco Bay, Beaumont, Texas and a few miles inland from Norfolk (at Ft. Eustis).

My ship lists were derived from:

1987 and 1989 Almanac of Sea Power, which lists Cold War fleets and ships in active reserve (ie with Navy Reserve crews assigned), recent decommisionings, and construction plans. I use the most aggressive construction planning (ie more LHD amphibious assault carriers were built than originally planned and at a faster pace, while almost every other construction program was slowed or halted).

1992 and 1995 Combat Fleets of the World

a 1992 Navy Sea Systems Command inventory list, which includes some of the really obscure and ancient ships which appear on my list (such as WWII destroyers that were sold to foreign navies such as Chile and returned to the US upon retirement). When my office gets its scanner back, I'll scan and email it to interested parties. (send me a PM)

Janes Fighting Ships, various editions. I use the most recent available copy to get names for new construction ships, while copies from the 1990s (and Combat fleets of the world) often list scrapping dates.

As far as canon, I use the v1 timeline which doesn't have the mini-drawdown. I admit my list assumes a continuation of higher tension Cold War (even in 1987 the drawdown was starting...). But it also goes along with the idea of still having Centurions, Saladins, M-48 tanks and M-551 Sheridans out there in combat... better than nothing but can you imagine the look on a soldier's/sailor's face... "I'm going to war in THAT??".

For remaining naval strength I have no idea... I can't find any unclassified documents on Cold War loss projections. To make canon work it has to be real low... only 2 nuclear subs in the US Atlantic fleet by 1999, no naval combatants larger than a minesweeper in the Caribbean, sending river ships and passenger ferries for the evacuation fleet in Operation Omega. The lack of fuel is the crunch... except for nuclear powered ships, and with them the crunch comes for spare parts and sophisticated maintenance in shipyards which have been destroyed by direct enemy action or civil disturbance and have no workers or supporting industry (steel mills, power plants, welding gas and 1000 other details). Even mothballing ships requires a shipyard and some maintenance facilities... I think many of the remaining ships would be more abandoned or used as a source of scrap steel than mothballed.

Just my thoughts...

chico20854

************
shrike6

If you are looking for a comprehensive list of decommissioned ships Hazegray has a list of all US Navy, US Coast Guard and other US Gov. Agency ships that have been decommissioned since 1980 and their current status as of 2003. This would be the list I'd use for Twilight. Of course I'd modify somewhat since the 90s military drawdown wasn't as severe in my version of Twilight as IRL.

http://www.hazegray.org/worldnav/usa/decom.htm

shrike6


************
thefusilier

Here is a link I used to help myself with a Royal Navy listing. Gives info on decommision dates and where they ended up. Some info can help with figuring out which new ships would have been built in time for the Twilight war such as HMS Ocean (only delayed IRL due to end of cold war).

http://www.btinternet.com/~warship/Today/index.htm
__________________
The Fusilier
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.