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Old 23-01-2012, 18:08
Keith Enge Keith Enge is offline
Chief Petty Officer
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 78
Default Advice Wanted

This question doesn't really directly involve a specific naval battle but none of the other forums fit it either. Since this forum gets a lots of action and I frequently post here, I thought that I would add it here in hopes of getting replies.

I have recently added functionality to the battle finding capability of my naval database. The database includes 488 battles of all types, the vast majority of which are historical but with some "what ifs" (but, as will be discussed later, even the "what ifs" have an historical basis). My question is, what can I do to further improve the battle finding capability? If it were your database, what do you wish that it did?

For you to answer those questions, I have to list what the battle finding portion of the database can currently do. All of the tests listed below can be individually enabled or disabled. It can restrict the battles found to:

One or more of 16 regions. These regions were judiciously chosen. They range from as small as the English Channel to as large as the Central Pacific.

Battle types (surface, carriers vs carriers, carriers vs non-carriers, convoy, purely ASW, aircraft vs aircraft, aircraft vs ships, or other). Battles have a single primary type but can have any number of sub-types; matches of only the primary type, matches of any of a list of types, or exact matches of primary and sub-types can be specified.

Day, night, or both.

Historical or "what if". The "what ifs" have five categories. "Fizzle" means they met but no action ensued. "Search fails" means one side knew that the other was there but couldn't find them. "Missed" means that both sides were nearby but they didn't encounter each other. "Timing" means that they would have met but one side was delayed for some reason. "Rewrite" means rewriting history like adding a ship that ran aground the previous day or combining the actual force with another in the area but on a different mission.

Tactical winner (major, minor, or tie).

Strategic winner (major, minor, or tie).

Number of ships (Axis, Allied, or combined) (a range of numbers is specified).

"Power" ratio between the two sides (who is expected to win as determined by the database's power calculations) (a ratio range is specified).

Does it have an animated map (normal or carrier battle type map)?

Specific ship types from specific navies. For example, you can ask to find battles with Italian light cruisers and destroyers, British destroyer escorts but with no Italian heavy cruisers (the test can be much more elaborate than this).

Planes - number in the battle (range of numbers for the Axis, Allies or both), country, mission, wheeled/floatplane/flyingboat, biplane?, number of engines, type of plane (fighter, divebomber, night fighter, etc)

You can also specify a date; only battles after that date will be found. When a list of battles is found, it normally replaces the previous list found. However, there are four other options. It can be merged with the old list. It can list only battles common to both lists. It can list only battles unique to the new list. It can list only battles unique to the old list.

OK, that is what the database currently can do. What do you think that it should also do to be even more useful?

Thanks in advance for your input,


P.S. - You don't have to read any further; my questions have been asked. However, I thought that I would include this to show some other things that the database can do. The battle finding capability somewhat mirrors the database's ship finding capability. For example, you can have it find all Italian light cruisers built by the Ansaldo, Genoa shipyard between April 1933 and June 1934 with eight 3.9" secondary guns and whose number of torpedo tubes decreased by 50% or more in a refit between June 1941 and March 1942. Furthermore, you could further restrict it to those sunk by British and American bombs and shore batteries but with no submarine torpedo hits between September and November 1942 within 20 miles of Tobruk. Actually, this would find no ships that meet all of these criteria but you get the idea. Much more complicated tests can be made; ships have up to 157 different data items that can be tested, everything from secondary turret armor to the rate of fire of an AA gun. There are 48 possible ship fates, everything from kamikazes to diving accidents. The sinking locations can be specified by region (the same regions as for battle finding) so you might choose the Mediterranean. In the example, to get that area near Tobruk, you zoom in on a map and draw a box around the desired area.
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Old 23-01-2012, 18:25
jainso31 jainso31 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 8,747
Question Re: Advice wanted

Does your database include source references ie.where the data comes from and or where another text can be found eg.internet,books,official documents,etc.?If the database does not hold this information-then I would like to know why not.


Last edited by jainso31 : 23-01-2012 at 18:36.
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Old 23-01-2012, 20:45
Keith Enge Keith Enge is offline
Chief Petty Officer
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 78
Default Re: Advice wanted

It has an extensive bibliography but does not record where any particular bit of data comes from. There are, after all, over 8500 named ships in the database. If each bit of their data had a tag attached saying where it came from, those tags would increase the size of the database probably ten-fold.
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