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"How long would a ship be out for repairs? " Topic

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World War Two at Sea

827 hits since 12 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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mwindsorfw12 Sep 2018 8:56 p.m. PST

I've seen rules for linking scenarios into campaigns that would give you some idea of how long a ship would be down for repairs. Unfortunately, my game room is such a mess that I cannot find what I need. Can anyone point me to a chart or some other reference that could provide a simple repair matrix for damaged ships?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse12 Sep 2018 8:56 p.m. PST


mwindsorfw12 Sep 2018 9:10 p.m. PST

How is that DA BUG, Tango? Looks like the right title and message on the right board.

Winston Smith12 Sep 2018 9:10 p.m. PST

Repair Matrix?
Throw it out the window.
Yorktown was severely damaged at Coral Sea. She needed at least 2 weeks before she would be seaworthy. Yet, 48 hours after docking, she sailed forth for Midway.
If you do find a matrix, give it a +/- for such emergencies.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse12 Sep 2018 9:13 p.m. PST

The tittle could be right my friend… but do you crossport your thread to 28mm Fantasy and Crowfunding? … I guess not… so, DA BUG mixed both threads…. your's and mine… so I quit…


mwindsorfw12 Sep 2018 9:26 p.m. PST

Oh, sorry, Tango. I never saw the crosspost.

True, Winston Smith, anything can be patched up and put back out with a heroic effort. However, there ought to be a relatively simple table that tells you that a ship with a main battery hit will take x months to repair, a secondary battery will take x months, minor hull breach x months, and so on.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse12 Sep 2018 9:51 p.m. PST

No harm here my friend…. (smile)


Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2018 7:31 a.m. PST

Depends on the damage.

dragon613 Sep 2018 8:08 a.m. PST

Depends on the repair facilities. Depends on how far away the repair facilities are. Mostly underwater damage takes the ship out of the campaign.

The GQ3 Solomon's Campaign set has a good system.

mwindsorfw13 Sep 2018 11:44 a.m. PST

Thanks dragon6.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2018 11:53 a.m. PST

USS Saratoga (CV-3) took 5 months to be repaired
from one torpedo hit (early 1942) but that may have
been because she was also undergoing planned upgrades.

Later in the war, she was out from 1 sept to 14 November
also due to a single torpedo hit. However, that hit
caused fairly extensive damage to her turbo-electric
propulsion system.

Since she was built upon a battlecruiser hull, it is
more likely than not that the torpedo hull damage
was repaired more quickly than the other damages or
more quickly than the upgrades (early 1942) were
accomplished, similar to the repairs made to the
USS North Carolina when she was torpedoed.

Compare with USS Enterprise (CV-6) She was hit by
3 bombs during the Eastern Solomons battle and near-
missed by 4 others. She was repaired in about 5 weeks
(10 September – 16 October 1942) and went back in the
fight although her forward elevator had not been

A lighter hull, but no torpedoes. Bomb hits to the
flight deck and forward elevator – flight deck more
easily repaired than a hull, although the near-misses
did cause leaks in fuel tanks and she still had repair
parties (CB's !) aboard during the Santa Cruz battle.
And of course the Navy had learned a great deal about
repair priorities, techniques, etc., based upon earlier
battles and damaged ships.

I was, about 40 years ago, privileged to know a man
who wrote the Navy's fire fighting manual early in the
war and who shared with me his memories of firefighting
and damage repair during the period March 1942 –
December 1945.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Sep 2018 12:28 p.m. PST

It seems as though below the waterline damage, like from torpedoes took MUCH longer to repair that above water bomb or shell fire damage. Makes sense, of course. So the type of damage should be a big factor in repair times.

mwindsorfw14 Sep 2018 2:41 p.m. PST

What about fire control, radar, a main gun mount, or a secondary gun mount? Could those be repaired at a base like Noumea or Espiritu Santo, or would the ships need to be sent to Hawaii or the West Coast?

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP14 Sep 2018 4:26 p.m. PST

Mwindsorfw No, Noumea or Espiritu Santo could not,
in and of their own assets, accomplish most repairs.

What would happen is a repair ship (early in the war
USS Vestal) would be stationed at an anchorage to carryout
necessary repairs in some cases, completing them and
in others 'patching' a vessel for either temporary return
to service when needs were paramount or 'patching' a
vessel to enable her to get to Pearl.

USS Vestal served at Tongatapu at the end of August
1942, completing over 960 repair jobs to 50-some vessels
and 4 shore installations. Three of her repairs were
to USS Saratoga (her second torpedoing, a 'patch' job
allowing the ship to get back to the US) USS South Dakota
which had been damaged by grounding, and USS North
Carolina, also torpedoed.

SoDak was repaired also in a fashion allowing her to
return to the US for permanent repair.

Vestal moved to Noumea and was available following the
Santa Cruz action to repair USS South Dakota (among other
repairs, a bomb hit on a 16" turret), USS Enterprise
(multiple repairs, flight deck/after elevator/internal
bulkheads/electrical equipment/arresting gear). The
carrier was ordered to sea before repairs were completed
so two Vestal officers and a large repair party sailed
with her, along with a group of SeaBees. When the Big E
was awarded a PUC for the period 7 Dec '41 to 15 Nov '42,
these men were included in the award.

BTW, one SoDak repair was to a hole in her hull caused
when she was rammed by USS Mahan, which ship left an
anchor in SoDak's wardroom. Vestal repaired the hole
and removed the anchor.

At Noumea, Vestal completed 158 repairs on 21 ships.
She then left for Espiritu Santu, where she spent a year.
She did over 5,600 repair jobs on 279 ships and 24
shore installations. She repaired USS San Francisco (14"
shell hits, other damage, USS New Orleans (Bow), USS
Pensacola (torpedo, and Vestal's rescue of Pensacola is
an epic in and of itself. Pensacola was almost severed
just after the aircraft hangar aft but Vestal repaired
the ship and patched her good enough to make it back to
Pearl for other repairs to enable Pensacola to get to

She repaired HMNZS Achilles (after main battery turret),
HMNZS Leander (collision/shrapnel damage), HMAS Hobart
(torpedo), USS St. Louis (torpedo) and USS Minneapolis
(torpedoed amidships and with a large portion of her bow

There were hundreds of repairs to dozens of other ships
large and small, combatants and non-combatants, followed
by continued succor to wounded ships at other Pacific
anchorages all throughout the war.

It is not too hyperbolic to say that Vestal and her
sisters made a major, perhaps THE major, contribution
to winning the war, at least the Naval war, in the

To quote from her captain's AAR ' "So it went one
broken, twisted, torpedoed, burned ship after another was
repaired well enough to make a navy yard or put back on
the firing line."

Apologies for the length of this entry, but you did ask.

mwindsorfw14 Sep 2018 5:30 p.m. PST

That's an amazing story. That's so much for posting.

Pontius15 Sep 2018 4:18 a.m. PST

Somewhere I have a set of rules I started to develop for damage repair. Basically a facility has a number of "gangs" it can use to effect repairs. Each gang can repair a certain number of points per day. I set a maximum number that can work on a ship at a time – say, 2 for a destroyer, 8 for a large cruiser etc. For a short period double repair rates can be achieved by overtime. To enable quick repairs it took only half the points to restore a damaged item, but of course that leaves it susceptible to future damage until full points are restored.
It would take a fair amount of admin to manage a large campaign, but I expect some IT wizard could create a spreadsheet that would do it all for you.

Lion in the Stars16 Sep 2018 4:45 p.m. PST

Swapping/repairing an entire turret for a battleship could only be done at one of the big shipyards (that's one heck of a heavy lift!). Those specific cranes are still at Bremerton.

You could pull a single battleship gun/liner at one of the repair ships, or a cruiser main turret (USN secondary turrets were all interchangeable, so you might see one badly-damaged ship getting cannibalized to get a less-damaged ship back into action faster).

Fully fixing flooding damage would not be easy. I mean, it starts with stopping water from coming in, then getting the water back out. Once that's done, you need to check all the electrical equipment to see if it survived or if it needs to be replaced. This may require cutting large holes in the hull to be able to remove and replace things. You would also need to do that with steam lines and everything else. (You technically need to do that for fire damage, too, since guess what ships use for firefighting: seawater)

Pontius17 Sep 2018 1:41 a.m. PST

My rules do not specify how a reduction in capability is caused, just the effect. Reduced gunnery effectiveness could be because of damage to a mounting, equally it might be caused by loss of communication links, flooding in a magazine or damage to the director. HMS Nelson's mine damage in December 1939 effected her main armament, due to shock damage to the ammunition supply system.

Lion: you are quite right about the problems resulting from water ingress due to flooding and firefighting. Though some ships remained in action with flooded compartments.

Lion in the Stars20 Sep 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

Hrm. If you're not going to track why gunnery effectiveness has been impaired, I'd probably say that any battleship with (whatever % a full turret is of their main battery) down needs to go back to a major shipyard.

If your rules do about the same for speed, I think I'd make the declaration at 25% speed reduction means major shipyard work (mangled screw or major engine damage).

As a modern-day submariner, I'm very paranoid about fire and flooding. I most emphatically do not like "water in my people tank" ( evil grin ). That's because a modern US sub only has 2 or 3 separate watertight compartments. WW2 fleet boats had far more, ~8, IIRC. But the more watertight doors you have, the noisier the sub. A fire will very quickly fill even a large compartment with smoke, and we are all fond of breathing!

But on a surface ship, those threats are much reduced. Surface ships have dozens, if not hundreds, of watertight compartments, so even if you do have some flooding you aren't in immediate critical danger. In fact, you may need to counter-flood in order to get the list off. Counter-flooding will make the ship draw more water and therefore take more power for the same speed.

So if your tactical combat includes critical hits, then I'd make a critical flooding something that you'd need to go back to a major shipyard for, otherwise, it's within the ship's own repair capabilities or at worst a repair ship's capabilities.

mwindsorfw22 Sep 2018 10:38 a.m. PST

What would it tale to repair a secondary gun mount like a 5" or 8" gun?

Lion in the Stars24 Sep 2018 10:48 p.m. PST

Depends on damage.

A battleship's twin-5" mount was almost 80 tons, while the cruiser twin-5" mount was only 50 tons. Either one was lighter than a single 16" gun barrel, so a repair ship could handle that on-site.

But a destroyer tender could pull a single 5" barrel out and replace that, no trouble.

A cruiser's 8" triple turrets were 250-300 tons all up, which is more than double the weight of a single 16" tube with breechblock. I'm having a hard time finding crane ratings for any repair ships, but I have a hard time believing that a heavy repair ship like the Vulcan-class wouldn't be able to pull a single big gun at a time.

mwindsorfw25 Sep 2018 5:42 p.m. PST

Thanks Lion

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