Talk:Battle of Balikpapan (1942)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Military history (Rated Start-Class)
MILHIST This article is within the scope of the Military history WikiProject. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of open tasks. To use this banner, please see the full instructions.
Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the quality assessment scale.
WikiProject Indonesia (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Indonesia, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Indonesia and Indonesia-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.

Mark 15 torpedo problems[edit]

I removed this sentence "Of the Allied torpedoes fired, 12.7% detonated on Japanese targets -- roughly the same success rate that the Japanese achieved at the Battle of Savo Island in August 1942."

The sentence was uncited; it was not supported at all by the web page cited in the following sentence.

I replaced the sentence with a note about the Mark 15 torpedoes running too deep, per Theodore Roscoe's 1953 book. If there is some kind of support for the 12.7% figure, I would welcome its inclusion. However, I think the torpedo problem should remain in the article. Binksternet (talk) 19:33, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

I removed the previously inserted claim about "few hits" as the claim is neither factual (it does not state the number of hits) nor germane. The IJN hit rate is summarized by Joseph Czarnicki "Were the best good enough" and may be viewed at The hit rate for the IJN was 13.1%. The USN hit rate at Balikpapan was 12.5% in SE Morrison's discussion of this engagement.
Battle was what it was. Editorializing about the torpedoes in this context makes no sense, especially as the USN hit rate at Balikpapan was comparable to the IJN hit rate in a similar surprise attack under similar circumstances. -- Mike Diehl Mike Diehl (talk) 21:18, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Your linked source at says specifically that torpedo results from the Balikpapan raid were rejected by the author because of the action's "lack of any resemblance to the type of engagements that would take place in the [Imperial Japanese Navy's] Decisive Battle scenario... because the IJN escort never engaged the [Allied] raiders." That means the subsequent estimate of torpedo effectiveness in other battles has no bearing on the Balikpapan action—not the US numbers nor the Japanese numbers. The source falls down completely as a reference for this article about Balikpapan 1942.
On the other hand, Roscoe writing in his book United States Destroyer Operations in World War II describes this exact action, including the frustrating torpedo problems experienced during it. Roscoe is very much relevant to the topic. Binksternet (talk) 21:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Roscoe is relevant. Edited the current version to include factual statement of hits per Morison's best approximation and to preserve reference to Roscoe's conjecture vis as vis the Mark 15 torpedo. As conjectures go, it's GOOD conjecture. Is more detail needed or does that satisfy your query? BTW, we *could* also cite USS Pope's after-action-report here. Is that desirable? Needed? Mike Diehl (talk) 02:42, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

@ Binksternet[edit]

Hi, Mike Diehl here. What was your reason for reverting the previous edit and flagging vandalism? The specific edit that I made added a reference, and removed language that was ambiguous, subjective, and potentially misleading, replacing that language with information that was documents, quantitatively precise, and objective. I do not see the merit in preferring "expended all torpedoes" over "expended forty torpedoes." "All" is vague and marginally informative. "Forty" is accurate and conveys BETTER encyclopedic information. There were 4 Clemson class DDs. Each carried ten torps. They fired them all. Forty is more informative than "all." Likewise, I replaced your word "few hits" with 5-7 hits. Few is imprecise, uninformative, and subjective. Literally, few would convey, grammatically, "approximately three." In a relative sense, few means "not many compared to the total." But you would not use the word "few" if, for example, 1000 torpedoes had been expended and 120 hits obtained, do you see what I mean? 5-7 is an accurate estimate based on Pope's after-action report, and on the IJN tactical record of movement of the sunk IJN patrol craft and one of the IJN transports. Pope reports hits by Parrot (1 hit at 0305 hours), two hits by Pope at 0310, one by Parrott at 0310, and two at 0319. Given that this article already states that four transports were sunk by a combination of torpedoes and gunfire, and one pc by torpedoes, the logical best estimate minimum is 5 hits. If we take Pope's observations as accurate, there were six torpedo hits. I do not see the merit in preferring language that is obscure, subjective, and potentially misleading ("few hits were obtained") over language that is quantitative and supported by both Japanese and USN sources ("five or six hits were obtained"). Mike Diehl (talk) 15:48, 27 September 2012 (UTC)