Missions with planes are nippy - you speed into conflict and can just launch another wave of fighters when you accidentally crash into an incoming Zero - but the ships are a different matter entirely. Ships handle precisely like you’d imagine several thousand tons of steel, rivets and seamen would. Since there has to be time for tactical positioning before a conflict, replaying a level involves an extended period of drumming fingers.
Things regularly go wrong, both in terms of attrition and catastrophic failure. In the former case, damage to your ship adds up to the point where the final encounters in the extended no save-game battles can be simply impossible, requiring a restart. In the latter, no matter how well you’re doing, a couple of torpedoes in the correct place can still turn you from a terrifying cruiser to a glorified aquarium toy for lucky deep-sea fish.