Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 14, 1942

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by spidge, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Second Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, November 14, 1942

    Having lost practically every cruiser in the inventory either sunk or damaged, the American forces left to dispute Japan's ability to reinforce Guadalcanal were running thin. As the damaged survivors of the Battle of Friday the Thirteenth withdrew, the Americans knew that the Japanese were moving another force into the area. The American theatre commander, William Halsey, reacted by detaching the fast battleships of Enterprise's screen to the constricted waters of the Sound. Under the command of Rear Admiral Willis Lee, the South Dakota and Washington, along with a nominal screen of four destroyers, arrived off of Savo on November 14.

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  2. Tiornu

    Tiornu New Member

    Do you guys ever get the Warship International journal? A couple issues ago, my friends and I had an essay in there about Kirishima's loss, which is usually credited to nine 16 hits that forced her crew to scuttle the ship. In Western sources, anyway. In fact, the poor old ship (and she was old!--laid down around the same time as old Iron Duke of Jutland fame) got plastered by twenty 16in shells, each of which weighed nearly twice what her own shells weighed. Damage was massive, and the ship capsized so abruptly that an attending destroyer had to emergency reverse to avoid getting crushed.
  3. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    I have considered getting that journal, Tiornu, but have never been able to justify the price. Although my main interest is in the air war, I have a great enthusiasm for most things nautical particularly the RN.

    Kirishima was that old. Bloody hell.

    This is the battle where Washington had the electrical failure?
  4. Tiornu

    Tiornu New Member

    Ah, you've got a good memory. This was indeed the battle with the infamous electrical glitch, though it was South Dakota rather than Washington that was afflicted. The South Dakota class was known to have some kinks in its electrical system; in fact, just days before this battle, the sistership Massachusetts had some problems during the Battle of Casablanca. The repercussions for Massachusetts were minor, but an engineering crewman aboard SoDak had decided to "fix" the problem by tying down the circuit breakers. Of course, that prevented the circuit breakers from breaking the circuit, which is great except that's what circuit breakers are supposed to do. This little bit of "sailor-alts" caused the normally minor problem to create electrical shorts all over the ship. It's very interesting that you'll find no reference to this error in the ship's official report. The captain whitewashed the report to spare his crewman (and himself) further scrutiny. However, word got out fairly rapidly when the skipper tried to enlist Washington personnel in his version of events, which they were not inclined to do. I understand this incident is still taught by the USN as a case study in "Don't Do This."
  5. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

  6. Tiornu

    Tiornu New Member

    Yes, that was some creative thinking. It would have been rather difficult to dock South Dakota in South Dakota....
    The ship commissioned eight months before the battle. I believe the American practice was to commission the ship immediately upon completion and then get her and her crew ready for action. Here's her "DANFS" entry:
  7. cunliffe

    cunliffe New Member

    2nd battle of guadalcanal

    But South Dakota got most of the credit for the outcome of the battle. The ship went to New York for repairs, and Gatch described his ship's role to The Saturday Evening Post, which published the story of 'Battleship X'–a code name given because the Navy did not want South Dakota's name in print. A book about the incident followed, infuriating Washington sailors.:embarassed::embarassed::embarassed:


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