Flags of our Fathers... Fiction?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by comiso90, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Flags of Our Fathers has Fantastic audio... you must watch it on a good TV with a solid surround sound system. You have to turn up SFX of the Corsairs so that your domicile rattles and the neighbors whine.

    One scene I wasn’t to sure about was how close some large naval vessels were to the beach. It appeared that Battleships were within 1000 yards of the beach and taking a pounding from Japanese shore batteries.

    Did they really take the big ships in that close? I know destroyers often scrapped bottom to provide support but I'd be surprised to learn that Cruisers and Battleships got in so close. I suppose that it would allow them to use AA guns offensively but damn..

    Does the ammo on Naval gun need time/distance to arm?
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    It sounds like it was done for dramatic affect. One of the problems with the early invasions was the battleships being too close. The further out the ship fired, the better the penetration due to "plunging fire". At least that is how I understood it. The naval gunfire at Tarawa was ineffective because the ships were too close (and the bombardment was not long enough).

    There are others on this board (Delcrois being one) who know more about it than I. Maybe they'll chime in.
     
  3. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    You know, I thought the same thing. As soon as I saw that battleship get hit, I told my wife, "Bull S**T, there is no way they would get there battleships in that close."

    Or am I wrong?
     
  4. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    It is totally unimaginable. The only feasible reason would be so they can use the 40 mm's. Not to mention the difficulty they would have tryin to maneuver the things if there was an air attack.

    Why does Hollywood fail to see that the real - life facts are often dramatic enough?
     
  5. Emac44

    Emac44 Active Member

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    I would say it was done for dramatic effect only for the movie. Reality would be far different
     
  6. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Its made up for the movie... Heres a pic of the first wave with Surabachi in the back... Dont seem very close do they???

    [​IMG]
     
  7. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    I do seem to remember reading an account where the Marines were taking a hell of a beating at one point and a ship came in to assist because they were getting hit so bad. I do't recall what kind of ship it was. I will have to dig into it. It does sound familiar.
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Yeah, I know on Omaha Beach the destroyers were coming to with 500 yards of the beach to shell hidden German Machine guns, so it would not surprise me if there were ships in that close. However I don't believe that Battleships would be in that close (would depend on the shelving of the beach to an extent) and would prefer to stay further of shore to gain the plunging effect of their shells.
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    There was a ship (small one) called an LCI (G). It stood for Landing Craft Infantry (Gunboat). The job of these boats/ships was to go in with the infantry for close support. They were something like 160ft long and loaded with light (up to 75MM/3") guns. Most likely, that is what they sent in to support the Marines when they needed it. Designed to be very shallow drafted.

    As for a BB getting hit by shore guns, good luck to the shore guns. Those things (BBs) had upwards of a foot of hardened armor on them (sides) and about 4-6" on the deck. Most of the shore guns on these islands came in at 8" and below. Most likely just bounce off the side of the BB and generally get the crew worked up about the gun.
     
  10. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks for the info..

    In the movie, the shore gun was high enough on Suribachi and the BB was close enough that the shell shot straight down onto the deck and erupted into a conflagration.

    I hate Hollywood
     
  11. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    I did find this on the internet.

    "CLOSING IN: Marines in the Seizure of Iwo Jima
    by Colonel Joseph H. Alexander
    U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    D-Day

    Weather conditions around Iwo Jima on D-day morning, 19 February 1945, were almost ideal. At 0645 Admiral Turner signalled "Land the landing force!"

    Shore bombardment ships did not hesitate to engage the enemy island at near point-blank range. Battleships and cruisers steamed as close as 2,000 yards to level their guns against island targets. Many of the "Old Battleships" had performed this dangerous mission in all theaters of the war. Marines came to recognize and appreciate their contributions. It seemed fitting that the old Nevada, raised from the muck and ruin of Pearl Harbor, should lead the bombardment force close ashore. Marines also admired the battleship Arkansas, built in 1912, and recently returned from the Atlantic where she had battered German positions at Point du Hoc at Normandy during the epic Allied landing on 6 June 1944."

    2000 yards is close, just over a mile.

    I have not found any reference to damage to the Nevada or Arkansas.
     
  12. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thats intersting Dav. I'll try to post a frame of the movie tonight.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I had heard about the Arkansas duking it out with shore guns near Point Du Hoc. Either the New York or the Texas was with her. Think it was the New York. They got in a shooting match with some German 9"-12" guns located inland. I believe there was an old British BB with them as well.

    Did not know about BBs getting close at Iwo. Could have happened. But it doesn't make much sense, given the guns they carried and gunnery methods. DDs? Yes. CLs? Maybe. CCs? Less so. BBs? What's the point?
     
  14. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    It looks a lot different on still frame. The scale is off but the second photo looks ike an Iowa class.
     

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  15. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    That is way too close for a Battlewagon. If nothing else it would screw up the traffic patterns close to the beach and blow the eardrums of everyone in the little boats every time they opened up. That pic is way too crowded and close.

    There was a class of Battle Cruiser that the US produced during the war. It was the Alaska Class (again, going on memory). Looked the same as the BBs but was smaller. Had 11" guns. I think they only made two of them and scrapped the other two. Were only in action for about a year to a year and a half.

    If the movie were accurate (and I doubt it is- Hollywood, sheesh!), it could be one of them. But again, I doubt it.

    As always, IMHO.
     
  16. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    The explosion is funny too. Was there Napalm in that 8 inch shell?
     
  17. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    From the Naval history site of the US Navy:
     
  18. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I stand corrected. Evidently they were in that close. My bad.
     
  19. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    Thanks Evan. I mentioned earlier that I wondered if the 40mm's were used and u answered my question. :D

    When using the big guns, do u know if they used HE rounds or Armor Pierceing for the bunkers?
    I thought there was a minumum distance for the fuses to arm.

    From WIKI..."New York sailed 21 November for the West Coast, arriving at San Pedro 6 December for gunnery training in preparation for amphibious operations. She departed from San Pedro 12 January 1945, called at Pearl Harbor, and was diverted to Eniwetok to survey screw damage. Nevertheless, despite impaired speed, she joined the Iwo Jima assault force in rehearsals at Saipan. She sailed well ahead of the main body to join in preinvasion bombardment at Iwo Jima 16 February. During the next 3 days, she fired more rounds than any other ship present; and, as if to show what an old-timer could do, made a spectacular direct 14 inch-hit on an enemy ammunition dump."
     
  20. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    The site for all the info is here:

    Capture of Iwo Jima

    They have a ton of good info there. I think they used both for the bunkers. In most cases, it took several direct hits to destroy them.
     
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