Japanese StarshellsNovember 11 2011 at 7:30 AM
|Tom Womack (Login TomWomack)|
Response to De Ruyter's Illumination Capabilities
I agree with Don in that the Japanese preferred searchlights for illumination. In all my studies over the years I've seen only a handful of instances where the IJN fired starshells instead of opening searchlights. I believe the USN did too early on, but quickly dropped the practice when it discovered what nice aiming points searchlights made.
That said, I just found an interesting reference in the Royal Navy's Battle Summary 28: The Battle of the Java Sea. During the 4th Japanese torpedo attack of the battle at 1933 (Java Standard Time)Perth opened fire with her main batter; she also fired starshells but they fell short. In response, "Two greenish starshells were fired at our cruisers, and simultaneously our own starshells were seen to burst short of the enemy."