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Old August 25 2013, 12:57 AM   #183
J.T.B.
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Re: So many Mirandas/So few Constitution-refits?

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
For the fourth time, it doesn't EXCLUDE destroying the enemy. That is simply not the GOAL of defensive action, which is why a defensive action that manages to destroy the enemy can still fail as a defensive action. That is the whole point of the distinction, in fact: an offensive action is taken for the singular goal of eliminating the enemy forces from the battlefield, one way or another. Defensive action is something you to do prevent your OWN elimination.
Offensive vs. defensive isn't a very useful distinction for a lot of naval combat. Without fixed objectives, fortifications etc. on "the battlefield" the meeting of fleet units in the open ocean can involve both and change back and forth. The best defense against an enemy fleet has often been said to be finding the enemy and destroying it, wherever it may be, which is what led to some criticism of Admiral Spruance at the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Crazy Eddie wrote: View Post
Because the nature of torpedo attacks -- particularly in World War-II -- means this is necessarily a counter-attack, which is a type of offensive action. This is such, because firing a torpedo at the enemy immediately forces HIM to go on a defensive footing and take measures to avoid getting killed by your torpedo, either by firing deck guns in an attempt to detonate that torpedo or (if it's too deep or doesn't leave a trail) by taking evasive action to avoid it.
Here we can see the murkiness. For instance the High Seas Fleet at Jutland had its T crossed, abandoned action and basically ran for its life. That would seem to put it on the defensive according to the standard above, trying to prevent its own elimination. But its destroyer screen covers its escape with a torpedo attack, and the Grand Fleet is forced to evade. The defensive force taking offensive action and vice versa.
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