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Formation Movement Question


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#1 Carl Christensen

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 03:30 PM

Here is a question regarding the movement of ships in a formation:A formation of ships is moving in a line astern formation. During movement, the formation begins a turn in succession. At the end of the movement phase, some of he ships have turned (at point X) and have a new course, and others are still moving toward point X. During the next movement phase, can the lead ship in the formation begin a new turn in succession (at Point Y) before all of the ships have reached Point X or must all of the ships in the formation have the new heading before a new turn can begin?RegardsCarl

#2 Dave Franklin

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 04:40 AM

I believe the short answer is yes, at least there's nothing in the rules I know of to prevent it.

#3 Cpt M

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 11:14 AM

A formation of ships is moving in a line astern formation. During movement, the formation begins a turn in succession. At the end of the movement phase, some of he ships have turned (at point X) and have a new course, and others are still moving toward point X. During the next movement phase, can the lead ship in the formation begin a new turn in succession (at Point Y) before all of the ships have reached Point X or must all of the ships in the formation have the new heading before a new turn can begin?

Given the doctrine of the period and the limited communication options available, I'd have to say no. A division would need to complete it's current manuver before another can be ordered Controlling a division of 4+ ships with only signal flags and blinkers (radio, although available, was still in its infancy) can be, under the best of conditions, difficult. Add in the copious amounts of coal smoke generated by ships at battle speed, plus gunsmoke and the general confusion of battle, and attempting more than one evolution at a time would have been very risky, if not suicidal.

#4 Jim O'Neil

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 12:51 PM

Not to argue with the official position, which is very logical, but most ship's in column followed the leader and tended to do what the leader did. If the division commander cleared the smoke and realized he was about to run into a sinking ship barely visible above the water, he would turn and signal as best he could... the next ship would be strongly inclined to follow his turn, to the point when a ship was badly damaged and turned out of line, all the ships behind had to be waved off (with varying levels of success) as they would follow that ship out of line.

#5 Dave Franklin

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 06:20 AM

I agree with Bravo6, line-ahead is essentially follow the leader, and was used in part because it was easier to maintain.The limitation stated would seem sensible for other more complicated maneuvers, like simultaneous turns.

#6 simanton

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Posted 07 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

There is definitely a tendency to "do what the guy in front of you did." At Java Sea, when Exeter took an engineering hit and sheered out of line, the cruisers astern of her assumed they'd missed a "simultaneous turn" signal and turned to parallel Exeter. Of course, the ABDA formation was a very ad hoc organization with major communications problems and no opportunity to exercise together.




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