The USS Missouri (SNN-780) in WWII.

Previously using a timey-wimey ball I’ve attacked the Axis on land, but my M1A2 tank got its tracks blown off in Normandy and in the air where an AC-130 was perforated by the Luftwaffe. This time I’m going to attack by sea - I’m gonna send the USS Missouri (SSN-780) back, the 2010 version that is - a Virginia class nuclear-powered hunter-killer submarine. I send her back, fully fuelled, armed and crewed to Naval Station Norfolk on New Year’s Day, 1942.

This time, this time the Axis have surely met their match, right? What could they do to stop me, and would she be best used against the Kreigsmarine or Imperial Japanese Navy (and not just for irony’s sake)?

You’ll proabably end up running aground in a fjord going after the Tirpitz. I think she’d be the only German capital ship still afloat at that time. So I’d send you off to the Pacific where you’d run out of torpedoes sinking all the Japanese fleet prior to Midway.

No hastening of the end in Europe but you might knock off up to a year in the Pacific, so Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain unnuked, but the Allies suffer a million plus casualties in their invasion of the home islands.

And a quick check of wikipedia reveals a few more German targets - Gneisenau was damaged by a mine in February 1942 and decommissioned at Kiel in July 1942, Scharnhorst was sunk in December 1943.

And of course you could smash the U-boats. So maybe the Atlantic is a possibility.

You have a very limited number of modern torpedoes. Can you use and fire WWII allied torpedoes? If so, your superior speed and diving depth and unlimited time untersea are a distinct advantage. You can use your on board computers and sonar to destroy the wolfpacks, or out in the Pacific, you can blast battleships and carriers at will.

The WW2 vintage Mark 14 torpedo is similar in size (530 mm diameter * 6.25 m long) to the current Mark 48 (533 mm diameter * 5.8 m long), though slightly longer. So they might fit into the torpedo launch tubes of the Virginia.

If nothing else, the original complement of 12 cruise missiles and 4 torpedoes in launch tubes, plus another 27 of either, would pretty much exactly translate to 40 dead capitol ships. That would be a hugely significant chunk of the Japanese fleet. In the Atlantic, 40 dead U-boats would barely be a drop in the bucket (there were ~1100 through the entire war.) But, with dramatically more advanced sonar, the Virginia could escort convoys and spot any U-boats far before they were any threat. The U-boats were already outmatched by destroyers carrying primitive sonar, so if the Virginia was coordinating a pack of destroyers, I don’t think other U-boats would stand a chance.

Here’s a list of the Imperial Japanese Navy ships.. Assuming you could find them all (the Pacific is a big place after all) you’d be able to burn through all the battleships and carriers and start on the heavy cruisers.

I’d rather go forward in time about 20-30 years, pick up a converted Arleigh Burke armed with lasers and rail guns, and take it to the Pacific. A lot fewer issues with running out of ammunition before you sink the entire Japanese fleet and shoot down all their aircraft.

Of course, the entire world would be suffering from rather extreme ‘maxilla super pavimentum’ and distended eye hernia.

The mixed crew causing almost as much of that as the weapons themselves. (Black officers? Women officers??? Whaaaa???)

I see you’ve read John Birmingham’s Axis of Timeseries.

Actually, I have not. But I might check it out. I’ve just been bitterly disappointed with every time-travel book series I’ve ever read, irritated that Star Trek has stopped being about anything BUT time-travel and (other than Doctor Who), generally tired of the entire subject.

But that’s a different thread.

With any current tech ship, the key issue is going to be;

AMMUNITION. You’re never going to replace any of those torpedoes or missiles.
REPAIRS: Once that computer goes, that’s it. No replacement parts.

CHAIN OF COMMAND. Do you think for even half a second that the US President or any of those Admirals of the day are going to let you run the show? Not a freaking chance. You’d be sitting in San Diego being stripped apart, poked and proded by scientists and so forth. The ship too :stuck_out_tongue:

Huh, because Birmingham (aside from having the coolest author bio on Amazon) seems more interested in the sociological aspects of a near-future navy going back to the 1940s then just a “techno shoot-em up with awesome weapons” tale. And the very points you raised were a big part of that. Full disclosure though - I’ve only read the first of the trilogy.

As has been argued in previous threads, it is far more likely that the US/Allies will keep her parked somewhere in secret and try to reverse-engineer as much as the tech as they can. She only sails if things get dire against Japan (which, after Midway, they didn’t).

The biggest value in the entire thing would be both the historical knowledge and the technical knowledge of the people on board. Most of the crew would be lecturing scientists and engineers on what we would consider base knowledge, half of which hadn’t been invented at that time.

Hell, I’m not a nuclear physicist, but I know enough about the bombs they’d be working on later in the war to freak the living shit out of them and have me locked in a room being interrogated by Oppenheimer and the gang for a long time.

Mark 14s made in 1941 and early 1942? Might as well send her out unarmed.

She singlehandedly wins the war; I’m not being facetious. Official US Navy policy is to neither confirm nor deny if any vessel is carrying nuclear weapons, but the odds are very good that at least one of the dozen Tomahawks she’s carrying has a nuclear warhead. If what she’s carrying isn’t enough the practical know how on making the bomb will shave a year or more off of the Manhattan Project.

What would they be able to glean?

Yes but they have the knowledge on how to fix them.

How is it that they would need to be fixed? If they fit into the tubes and they can figure out how to interface them with the shipboard wireless transmitters, why would they be worthless (assuming she’s already run out of her 2010-era torpedoes)?

Also, even if the extra length ended up not being a problem in the launch tube, would the torpedo-handling hardware (racks & such) be able to handle a longer torpedo?

The Mark-14 Torpedo was plagued by major problems early in the war - and well throughout the war to be honest. When one problem was identified and fixed, it turned out it had been concealing another even worse problem; they were really never fully fixed. The first problem was that the magnetic influence detonator was hyper sensitive and would frequently prematurely detonate and often be mistaken for successful hits. The idea with the magnetic influence detonator was for the torpedo to explode directly underneath the ship which was more damaging than exploding into the side of the ship; an explosion underneath the ship had a very good chance of snapping the keel, the main structural member running down the length of the hull. When this was identified and fixed by disabling the magnetic influence detonator in favor of the backup contact detonator torpedoes started to suddenly never seem to hit their targets. It turned out that the torpedoes would routinely run 20 feet or more below the depth they had been set to run at and were simply passing harmlessly below their targets. This was fixed by setting torpedoes to run on the surface, so even with faulty depth regulators they would impact their targets. This didn’t fully fix the problem of torpedoes never seeming to hit their targets. It was finally identified that they were in fact hitting their targets but the contact detonator would be crushed on impact before detonating the warhead. Worse, the better the shot the hit should have been, the more likely this was to happen and cause a dud; the torpedo hitting at a perfect right angle was almost sure to crush the detonator.

How much would the modern sub rely on GPS that wouldn’t have been around back then?

I’m pretty sure that GPS is something a sub can live without (it’s not going to work underwater anyway). The onboard Tomahawks use GPS, but they have other guidance systems too (INS and TERCOM, also radar guided if they are the Anti Ship version).

How much damage could a couple of dozen Tomahawks do anyway? Any that were the Land Attack version couldn’t really be used against ships, and the lack of GPS means they are aren’t going to be surgical strike precision weapons.