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StgShultz
02-05-2007, 04:28 PM
If a ship picks up a submerged vessel how did either side know if it was an enemy sub?
Real life answers not SH3 please.
Obviously the subs could take a peek but ships don't have inverted periscopes.
You could never be sure if someone was outside their patrol area.

hueywolf123
02-05-2007, 04:43 PM
No way of knowing, the first british sub sunk during WWII was at the hands of a british destroyer.
It had actually been taken back from loan to Australia, and was conducting routine patrols, so the DD should have known from signals

geoffwessex
02-05-2007, 04:46 PM
They didn't know. There were several incidents of Allied aircraft and ships attacking British submarines, at least two of which were sunk...

HMS/M P514, a former USN S Class boat, was sunk by the Canadian ship HMCS Georgian in August 1942, between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

HMS/M Unbeaten was sunk by an RAF Wellington SSW of Ushant in November 42.

Prior to this, HMS/M Oxley had been sunk by another British submarine, the Triton, when failing to identify itself, in the first week of the war. That's the one Hueywolf mentions, but Triton was a T Class boat. The Oxley had indeed been loaned to Australia, but it had been returned to the RN in 1931.

C'est la guerre.

StgShultz
02-05-2007, 04:54 PM
Damn! Looks like not much has changed in 50 years. Soldiers are still at risk of getting blasted by their own side

hueywolf123
02-05-2007, 04:55 PM
I stand corrected GW, thanks bud. I was flying by bits of info in my head.
But, I'll bet even some U-boats were attacked by friendly fire.
I know of a first hand account (my uncle) who was witness to US AA gunners on an airstrip near Darwin, who shot up a sqadron of Bostons coming in to land.
Yes, they even had a signal from the tower, giving the approach direction, time etc and clearance, but the officer in charge paniced and ordered the guns to take them out.
Only one aircraft survived, with most of her crew wounded.
The officer was reprimanded, then sent to a front line unit

TheRealPotoroo
02-05-2007, 05:24 PM
Originally posted by hueywolf123:
The officer was reprimanded, then sent to a front line unit
Not the Eastern Front!

TheRealPotoroo
02-05-2007, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by StgShultz:
Damn! Looks like not much has changed in 50 years. Soldiers are still at risk of getting blasted by their own side
It has always been thus, since the days of the first phalanx when the guys in the front row had to tell the ones behind them to "Stop poking me with that thing!"

hueywolf123
02-05-2007, 05:32 PM
quote:
Originally posted by hueywolf123:
The officer was reprimanded, then sent to a front line unit

Not the Eastern Front!
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
Considering the Pacific theatre at that time, a nice cushy post in Darwin would have been preferable to Gauadal Canal or similar, mud, blood, malaria, dysentry, friendly fire

geoffwessex
02-05-2007, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by hueywolf123:
But, I'll bet even some U-boats were attacked by friendly fire.


You could be right, Huey, but then again, the U-Boats didn't have many "friends" in the air or on the water to shoot them up; their "Condor" flights were few and far between, and there were only rarely any German surface units in the Atlantic. In fact those surface units tended to have one trip each into the deep water!

StgShultz
02-05-2007, 09:04 PM
That's a bit harsh. Surely not in the first couple of years

Goose_Green
02-06-2007, 01:44 AM
German surface raiders were fairly successful in the early days, but with the increasing volumes of intercepted and decoded Enigma traffic and the employment of HF/DF (Huff Duff) the Allies were soon able to remove the German surface raider threat. This even includes the Battleships and Heavy Cruisers such as the Bismarck, Graff Spee etc which would eventually be eradicated over time.

IMO the biggest blow to U Boat operations in general were the loss of surface supply and U Boat Milk cow vessels that were aggressively sought after. Once the supply was removed the U boats could not operate further away for longer periods and thus had to run the gaulntlet of the Bay of Biscay where RAF Coastal Command were waiting.

Celeon999
02-06-2007, 03:56 AM
Friend or Foe recognition has been greatly improved in the last decades but there is still much room for misunderstandings.

Its interesting that this thread just pops up today. The Sun published a cockpit-record video of a friendly fire incident 4 years ago in Iraq.

A u.s A-10 misidentified a british convoy and attacked it.

REMINDER : Please do not take this as an opportunity to start a flame war.

The Sun is just a so called "Revolver newspaper" which is quite harsh in its language and often brainless in their way of reporting and so should not be taken as a serious newspaper. Its just their way to boost sells.

So just ignore the stuff they write and make your own picture. It was obviously just a sad misunderstanding.

See it here (http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007060131,00.html)

Jose.MaC
02-06-2007, 05:00 AM
Poor guys! What a disaster! I always thought they would had some kind of radio recognition codes.

Remember the scene in Stalingrad, where the young german soldier kills his colleague, who comes from the wrong direction. It has to happen really often in the real world.

Celeon999
02-06-2007, 05:38 AM
They have different radio frequencies. Otherwise communication would end in chaos.

The convoy and the A-10ยดs had no radio contact.

Obviously the Awacs plane had also no connection to the british ground forces until they radioed their mayday after the attack.

(Its also uncertain who recieved that mayday, maybe the awacs was informed by someone else who could hear that frequency)



Wether this was due to ordered radio silence of the convoy or the Awacs just recieved on different frequencies is not judgeable by this video.


But this is propably an example for weaknesses in joint operation communication procedures.

But if you ask me , i think it was the pilots fault. The orange signs on the top of the tanks should had been enough for him not to attack because of uncertainity.

No matter what intelligence tells him, he is the one who has to make the choice of attack or abort if any uncertainity exists.

The right thing would had been to abort and call in for an definitive confirmation that no allied troops operate at his position. This is what the handbook tells you.

Nobody would had blamed him for letting them drive on because of that orange color.

The Awacs would radio its base on that matter and wait for an answer.

But he did not wait as he wanted to catch them before they reach the village. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

ottoramsaig
02-06-2007, 06:13 AM
This just made US news this morning. Although the US Government still conciders it classified, we now have seen the HUD and audio of the A10 pilots trying to figure out the posiblity of freindlies in the area. You hear one pilot report that no freindlies were that far north but the forces below were displaying orange markers. They recieve the OK to attack. Seconds later they are informed that it was a British unit and they had recieved the may-day. Its painful to hear the reaction from the A10 pilots. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

klcarroll
02-06-2007, 06:50 AM
This is a classic example of the grim and painful business of "Friendly fire": ....It illustrates just how complex these things can be.

The pilots were confused about what they were seeing; ....not surprising in a war where the "opposition team" has frequently donned the uniform of the other side for tactical advantage. This is at least a partial explanation for their questioning the orange I.D. panels.

The issue became even more difficult because of the lack of direct air-to-ground communications. (Again, an understandable deficiency, when you consider the technical problems involved.)

The tragedy was assured when they received bad information from a controller that; "....there are no friendlies that far north." The systems for compiling and collating the Air Controller's information were obviously either flawed, or not able to keep up with "real time".

I grieve for the families of the dead and wounded.

.....And I deeply pity the pilots involved; ....as they will carry this grim burden for the rest of their lives.

*

Messervy
02-06-2007, 07:33 AM
One can more than ever, understand the phrase - Do not fire unless being fired upon.

TheRealPotoroo
02-06-2007, 07:48 AM
Originally posted by Celeon999:
But if you ask me , i think it was the pilots fault. The orange signs on the top of the tanks should had been enough for him not to attack because of uncertainity.

No matter what intelligence tells him, he is the one who has to make the choice of attack or abort if any uncertainity exists.

The right thing would had been to abort and call in for an definitive confirmation that no allied troops operate at his position. This is what the handbook tells you.
It was noted in the war that RAAF pilots aborted certain missions because of uncertainty where the US rules of engagement would have allowed them to continue the attack.

Jose.MaC
02-06-2007, 08:38 AM
Originally posted by Messervy:
One can more than ever, understand the phrase - Do not fire unless being fired upon.

There is another one: better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 4.

I don't know what i had done if i had been one of the pilots.

wm4668
02-06-2007, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by Messervy:
One can more than ever, understand the phrase - Do not fire unless being fired upon.

One slight problem with that old saw - if you wait to be fired upon, you end up dead! This was one of the crazy things about the Engagement Rules I worked under in the 70s and 80s in the RAF, 3 warnings to armed intruder prior to opening fire, unless he fired first or was posing a threat(!) to your designated area. The number of times I could have been Court Martialled for breaching the Rules on exercise.......


But on a more serious note, as Celeon says, the Sun is part of the "Gutter Press" and their editorials or opinions expressed should be taken with a Siberian Salt Mine, it should be remembered that in a shooting war with fluid fronts it is nigh on impossible to keep track of all friendly and opposing forces movements and accidents will happen. It's even more difficult these days where military hardware and vehicles tend to come from the same suppliers regardless of "sides". In WWII you could tell the difference between a Tiger and a Sherman but when both forces are using the same APCs it becomes a tad more difficult.

geoffwessex
02-06-2007, 11:24 AM
Don't bother with the Sun, and if you're (happily) not able to get a copy, a more factual report is on the BBC HERE (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6334769.stm)