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Topic: Antiaircraft Armament< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
Dave deSantis Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2001,12:16  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I recall reading that the Maryland had the most modern antiaircraft armament of the battleships at Pearl Harbor-20mm and 40 mm rapid fire cannon in contrast to the large slow firing 3' and 5" cannon of the other battleships.  Is this true? Would this account for her escaping with relatively minor damage?
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Fortress Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2001,2:31 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Dave,
  Probably what saved Maryland the most was being moored inboard of Oklahoma and thus protected from the torpedos.

  From the USS Maryland website: "One thing to note: A gunner's mate striker, writing a letter near his machine-gun, brought the first of his ship's guns into play, shooting down one of two attacking torpedo planes. Inboard of Oklahoma and thus protected from the initial torpedo attack, Maryland managed to bring all her an tiaircraft batteries into action. Despite two bomb hits she continued to fire and, after the attack, sent firefighting parties to assist her sister ships. The Japanese announced that she had been sunk, but 30 December, battered yet sturdy, the ship entered the repair yard at Puget Sound Navy Yard. She had made the first shots of the war. "

Cindy

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 05 2001,3:43 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"She had made the first shots of the war."

An honor claimed by many, but owned by a patrolling PBY and the Ward.   As has been frequently related, the PBY dropped on a midget outside the harbor and then Ward sank her, about an hour before the attack.

HOWEVER, the landings at Khota Baru, Malaysia, started several hours before that, so that's where the "first shots of the Pacific War" would have been fired.

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Chris Friedenbach Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 06 2001,4:15 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hello,  

As far as I know the US Navy did not begin putting 40mm guns on ships until mid 1942.  I am not sure when the 20mm was introduced, but most if not all ships at Pearl Harbor carried 50 caliber machineguns.  Maryland might have had some 1.1-inch quad mounts, which were used as a stopgap weapon until the 40mm mounts arrived in sufficient numbers.

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Chris Friedenbach

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GM3cUSSMaryland Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 06 2001,8:05 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi Dave,
I was a Gunner on the Maryland and the only reason she was regarded as the most modern was because her 4 3"/.50 guns were replaced with 4 1.1" Heavy machine gun mounts.  She still had 8 5"/.25 AA guns, 8 Browning .50 water-cooled machine guns, and there were either 8 or 10 5"/.51 broadside casemate guns.

Chris
USS Maryland, 1940-44

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 06 2001,8:39 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What was the opinion of the 1.1" mg in the fleet?  I've heard less than wonderful things about it, but I've learned not to make up my mind about something until I have enough info.
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Dave deSantis Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 07 2001,11:17 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I stand corrected. I think the article I read probably referred to the 1.1's on the Maryland that the other battleships did not have.  Thanks for the feedback.
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Tony D Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2001,4:22 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"What was the opinion of the 1.1" mg in the fleet?  I've heard less than wonderful things about it, but I've learned not to make up my mind about something until I have enough info."

Dr. Friedman in his "US Naval Weapons (1883-1983)" says that the 1.1"/75 jamming and unreliability were little more than teething problems and that the basic design was sound.  However, it still lacked the range and larger bursting charge of the 4 cm Bofors.

It suffered possibly more by being a less-than-stellar weapon needing additional work at a time when excellent weapons were readily available, i.e., the Oerlikon and the Bofors.  If the 1.1"/75 had been introduced into service as little as two years earlier, then it may have become the USN's equivalent of the British 2-pdr.  By that, I mean that it would have been in the pipeline and that it may have been considered better to continue production with a less-than-perfect weapon than to interrupt the production lines to introduce something better.  That pretty much explains why the British 2-pdr. continued to be produced throughout the entire war.

Perhaps it's not widely known, but the 5"/38 Mark 12 which today is fondly remembered as a robust and reliable weapon, also had its fair share of "teething problems" when first introduced, so much so that BuOrd seriously considered replacing it with other weapon designs as late as 1938.  The seven years between it's first service introduction and the entry of the US into WWII allowed its faults to be ironed out.

Tony DiGiulian

(Edited by Tony D at 4:27 pm on June 8, 2001)

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Larry Jewell Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2001,5:02 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"It suffered possibly more by being a less-than-stellar weapon needing additional work at a time when excellent weapons were readily available, i.e., the Oerlikon and the Bofors.  "

Which leads to my next question:  Were they deployed with ground units?  And if so, were these guns taken from ships?

Curious about this weapon, I saw a fakeumentary about one of these being mounted on a half-track.

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Brian OConnor Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 08 2001,7:52 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

As for a 1.1 on a vehicle; it wasn't standard, but I would not doubt the existance of at least one.  Heck, you give any decent sailor, soldier or airman something that he thinks will help him survive and win and you can bet that he or she will try it!!!  PT boats weren't built with 40mm anti-tank guns on them, but that didn't stop Kennedy from puting one on the 109.
Best Regards,
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