Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

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Byron Angel
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Byron Angel » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:53 am

SECRET
APPENDIX III
GUNNERY SUMMARY

DUKE OF YORK

General

The outstanding features of the gun action fought as it was in complete darkness, a high wind and medium sea …

<snip>

6. The overall output of the main armament turrets of approximately 68% was disappointing and was mainly due to relatively minor mechanical difficulties although, in one serious case, to errors in drill as well. The fact that all guns were fit to fire again by the end of the action reflects credit on the personnel concerned. The failure of three guns at once in ‘Y’ turret occurred at a particularly unlucky period and seventeen broadsides were missed in 15 minutes.

<snip>

10. A comparison with the performance of KING GEORGE V’s armament against “Bismarck” shows a definite and encouraging improvement. Output was better, breakdowns were much fewer, …..

- - -

One is left to ponder what the efficiency of KING GEORGE V was in her action versus Bismarck when 68% output was considered a “definite and encouraging improvement”.


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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:29 am

Steve Crandell wrote:Everyone who wants to point out inefficient gunnery from the USN uses Idaho as an example, and that is just silly. They fired off their entire forward magazine. That was the purpose of the test. Late in the test shells had to be manhandled from awkward locations to get them in action, and so there were lots of instances of guns missing salvoes. There were no turret jams or mechanical failures of the weapons at all, and the people monitoring the tests felt the crew did really well under the circumstances and were pleased with the results of the test.
Idaho suffered a number of misfires. Theoretically, Idaho should have taken 100 salvos to fire all 600 rnds but she actually took 156 salvos for a 64% output. Of the 156 salvos only 20 were 6 gun salvos, 47 were 5 gun salvos and 22 were 4 gun salvos with the rest being 3 or fewer. In any event, Idaho's gunnery output was probably typical of battleship output during a prolonged action.

Idaho's war diary:
October 10 1942

0550-0700 Dawn general quarters.

0800 Position 37 - 04N, 124-30W.

0833 Commenced firing exhaustion practice using turrets 1 and 2.

1045 Ceased firing because of low visibility.

1200 Position 37-04N 123-58W.
Made 95 miles on course 237 since 1200 October 9.

1608 Resumed firing.

1823 Completed exhaustion firing.

2000 Position 37-33N, 123-41W.
During night steamed on course 075.
Idaho's gunnery trials were conducted over a span of 4 hours and 27 minutes with a 5 hour 15 minute break after 2 hours and 12 minutes of firing.
Last edited by dunmunro on Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:19 am

"Byron Angel"

6. The overall output of the main armament turrets of approximately 68% was disappointing and was mainly due to relatively minor mechanical difficulties although, in one serious case, to errors in drill as well. The fact that all guns were fit to fire again by the end of the action reflects credit on the personnel concerned. The failure of three guns at once in ‘Y’ turret occurred at a particularly unlucky period and seventeen broadsides were missed in 15 minutes.

<snip>

10. A comparison with the performance of KING GEORGE V’s armament against “Bismarck” shows a definite and encouraging improvement. Output was better, breakdowns were much fewer, …..

- - -

One is left to ponder what the efficiency of KING GEORGE V was in her action versus Bismarck when 68% output was considered a “definite and encouraging improvement”.


B
DoY used broadsides (full gun salvos) throughout. Rodney used salvo (1/2 guns per salvo) fire for much of the action and broadside fire for the rest. Rodney had 77% output during salvo fire and 62% during broadside fire. KGV had no recorded loss of output for her first ~50 salvos (0848-0920) and G&D state: "Her gunnery during the battle averaged 60% between 0920-0950, with only the twin turret performing at 100% effectiveness." and after that she had a number of misfires so I would guess that KGV's output overall was in the ~60-70% range during salvo fire.

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Jan 16, 2016 1:42 pm

Hello everybody,

there is the same type of event to be correlated between PoW at Denmark Strait at 06.03 and KGV on May 27th at 09.20

Hardly turning away ( PoW ) or making a " U turn " ( KGV ) the result was the same : a quadruple turret jammed.

Output falling from 100 % ( 10 guns ) to 60 % ( 6 guns ) able to fire, ... and if you loose also the second quadruple ( minus 4 guns ), ... you are down to 20 %, with only the twin turret ( 2 guns ) still able to fire.

Now I hope nobody will show up with a " teething trouble " definition for KGV too.

Those quadruple turrets had serious design problems causing them to be unreliable, reference Hodges and Tarrant summary above.

Which is not desirable for a weapon, and a serious concern for any Officer in command of a warship carrying them on board.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:03 pm

From all the above interesting data/posts, again one fact emerges: Capt.Leach has to be credited at least for being able to prepare PoW in the best possible way from gunnery viewpoint already as per May 41.

PoW turrets on May 24 were NOT performing worse than KGV on May 27 or even than DoY many months later, and they were not the "inexperienced crew" or the "teething problem" bad excuses to affect her absolute performance, but an intrinsic deign complexity / unreliability of the quadruple turrets loading mechanisms.

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jan 16, 2016 2:38 pm

wadinga wrote:

On 17th July 1945 KG V fired 267 shots in a shore bombardment against Japan when accompanying US battleships fired an average of 247. On 29th July she fired 265 shots in 37 minutes. Rate of fire were probably a bit more leisurely than when fighting enemy battleships which were fighting back.
267 shots / 10 guns / 37 minutes implies 0.72 shots / minute / gun.

... In early 1945 USS New Jersey fired 1.7 shots/minute/gun at 27.000 yards in a gunnery trial.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by kevin32422 » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:00 pm

Bismarck, Tirpitz, Prinz Eugen, and the Graf Zepplein (I think that's how you spell it) would have been a great Rheinubung especially if it was coordinated with the Luftwaffe and U boats.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:36 pm

dunmunro wrote: USS Massachusetts achieved about 75% (it's difficult to estimate) output at Casablanca during 6-7 hours of firing while operating in calm seas. Massachusetts suffered two turret jams, one for over 30mins and one for a shorter time. She had problems with gun hydraulics and in combination with the turret jams she was briefly down to one functioning 16in gun.
... true, but 6 hours of battle is quite a long time, and the ship was constantly changing course at high speed to avoid torpedoes and projectiles (unlike Duke of York with a mostly straight course).

Another important factor is crew training - Massachussets was on her shakedown cruise, and with a green crew. Duke of York had almost 2 years from comissioning.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jan 16, 2016 3:41 pm

wadinga wrote:
However these disruptions prove further that the extended period necessary before Tirpitz was combat ready has no relevance whatsoever to Bismarck's readiness, and we should cease second-guessing Lindemann's report and his Admiral's congratulations. However since these relocations slowed work on the Tirpitz, one must surely accept the same for PoW. :cool:
:)
If you accept Lindemann's report as it is written ("ship combat ready"), you must also accept Leach's assessment ("ship reasonably fit for service").
And both had inexperienced crews, and were incomplete at the time of the battle. Bismarck was more prepared, as I said by about 2-3 months ahead of Prince of Wales. But still had a long way to go until full efficiency (ex - 2 different gun types controlled by 2 directors instead of 4 are not efficient, as AVKS report says. repeated hardware breakdowns also indicate not enough training and / or material (quality) troubles with the products - quality troubles that Tirpitz did not report in the same amount).

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Byron Angel » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:39 pm

dunmunro wrote: DoY used broadsides (full gun salvos) throughout. Rodney used salvo (1/2 guns per salvo) fire for much of the action and broadside fire for the rest. Rodney had 77% output during salvo fire and 62% during broadside fire. KGV had no recorded loss of output for her first ~50 salvos (0848-0920) and G&D state: "Her gunnery during the battle averaged 60% between 0920-0950, with only the twin turret performing at 100% effectiveness." and after that she had a number of misfires so I would guess that KGV's output overall was in the ~60-70% range during salvo fire.

..... I'm not certain that the "output" cited above for Rodney and King George V are quite accurate.

Progress in Naval Gunnery 1942 states -

EXTRACTS FROM REPORTS ON THE “BISMARCK” ACTION
POINTS ARISING FROM “RODNEY’S” REPORT
402. The overall rate of fire from the main armament during the action was 1.6 salvos/minute, with an output of 77 per cent. For the first 30 minutes the output was 90 per cent, at 1.3 salvoes/minute.

A comparison of Rodney versus King George V during the Bismarck action indicates that Rodney (based upon shells fired over the course of the action and taking into account Rodney's main battery being one gun fewer in number than that of KGV) arguably could be said to have possessed an "output" value about 25pct greater than that of KGV - which would put KGV's "output" somewhere in the 55-60pct range.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:37 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
dunmunro wrote: DoY used broadsides (full gun salvos) throughout. Rodney used salvo (1/2 guns per salvo) fire for much of the action and broadside fire for the rest. Rodney had 77% output during salvo fire and 62% during broadside fire. KGV had no recorded loss of output for her first ~50 salvos (0848-0920) and G&D state: "Her gunnery during the battle averaged 60% between 0920-0950, with only the twin turret performing at 100% effectiveness." and after that she had a number of misfires so I would guess that KGV's output overall was in the ~60-70% range during salvo fire.

..... I'm not certain that the "output" cited above for Rodney and King George V are quite accurate.

Progress in Naval Gunnery 1942 states -

EXTRACTS FROM REPORTS ON THE “BISMARCK” ACTION
POINTS ARISING FROM “RODNEY’S” REPORT
402. The overall rate of fire from the main armament during the action was 1.6 salvos/minute, with an output of 77 per cent. For the first 30 minutes the output was 90 per cent, at 1.3 salvoes/minute.

A comparison of Rodney versus King George V during the Bismarck action indicates that Rodney (based upon shells fired over the course of the action and taking into account Rodney's main battery being one gun fewer in number than that of KGV) arguably could be said to have possessed an "output" value about 25pct greater than that of KGV - which would put KGV's "output" somewhere in the 55-60pct range.

B
Rodney's output % comes from Robert's The Final Action (Warship 28) and he gets his numbers directly from Rodney's gunnery report and he provides the salvo summary with salvo times. Rodney was closer to the target than KGV for much of the action and could fire faster because of that and she also had superior visibility to the target. Simple comparisons of rounds fired are not an accurate method of determining KGV's output. However, having said that, if we subtract 10% from 77% to account for the fewer shells fired by KGV and another 10% to account for KGV having one more gun, then we get an output of ~63% but it was almost certainly higher than that. Rodney maintained 90% output during the first 30 minutes but KGV did at least as well, and probably better and she fired 1.7 salvos/minute. I fear the PING extract must be wrong.

Rodney fired 36 salvos from 0847 to 0911, with intervals of about 4 minutes with no firing, there after there were more pauses. Output for the first 30 minutes of the action was about 1.6 salvos/minute. Salvo output over the entire action was about 1.3 salvos per minute when no allowance is made for short periods of no firing.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:32 pm

Hello everybody,

... an interesting reading about Tirpitz readiness status on early 1942 :
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Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by Cag » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:44 pm

Hi All,
Just a note to give you what I've found from the logs of PoW which I've condensed to make it easier to read. During March PoW had Comander Brown and Lieutenant Commander Ross and Harley aboard for gunnery trials. For her main armament 'full charge trials' were carried out (Similar to KG V DoY Anson and Howe I believe) whilst on transit from Rosyth to Scapa Flow on the 25th March, there are no details apart from the mention that they were trials and this was the only firings carried out from January. From the 25th March until the 31st PoW carried out 1 hr and 18 minutes of 5.25 firing, 1hr 48mins of pom pom firing, 3 mins of 3pdr firing 1hr 13mins of UP firing. Her crew carried out during the whole of March 6hrs 46mins of gunnery drill, unfortunately it is not specified of what kind. They also carried out 29hrs 40mins of trials associated with the whole armament and 34hrs of other trials including Paravane, De-Gaussing, Walrus launching/recovery/towing, main and cruising engine, compass, steering and turning and AA recognition and ranging.
During the 1st April the Cammell Laird workers left the ship and 51 Vickers Armstrong workers joined to work on her main armament turrets etc. During the whole of April her crew carried out 4 rounds of fire from A turret, and a further 3hrs 35mins of sub calibre and 1hr 28 mins of full calibre reduced charge main armament firing. A total of 11hrs 37mins of 5.25 firing and 32mins of Bofors firing. Her crew carried out 14hrs 40mins of unspecified gunnery drill, and spent 38hrs 50 mins of other trials including air recognition, RDF/WT trials, Walrus, Paravane, towing from astern, night action stations, collision and did RiX exercises.
From the 1st May until she sailed on the 21st the crew carried out 2hrs 27mins of sub calibre and 1hr and 3mins of full calibre full charge main armament firing (Grand total 8hrs 33 mins), 12hrs 16mins of 5.25 firing 7mins of pom pom firing, and 40 mins of unspecified gunnery drill. They also carried out 20hrs 32mins of other trials including Demolition party trials, oiling destroyers, steering and turning, Walrus, De-Gaussing, Paravane, night action stations, they also did RiX exercises.
As always hope this helps,
Cag.

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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by wadinga » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:39 pm

All,

Once again we must thank one of the newest contributors to our group for bringing us back to reality after an extended round of battleship "Top Trumps" where fans of one ship of another compare specious statistics gathered under wildly differing conditions, weather, enemy activity, static or moving targets, over variable durations (a few minutes versus a few hours) and champion their......er......champions. :wink:

Now we have actual information about how much gunnery practice PoW actually had, through one individual who has had access to PoW logs and who has selflessly made the information in them freely available for our benefit. :think:
Well done ............................Cag! :angel:

I think everybody should consider the last time they saw their car hoisted into the air on a ramp, and then imagine the same mass being transfeered from one carrier to another whilst parts of the structure rotate relative to one another , and lifted up through many metres in 30 seconds or so whilst the whole "garage is thrown about by the weather in three dimensions and shocked by violent vibrations every few seconds. Oh. and the operators are finding difficult to concentrate as they believe they may blown to atoms or maimed and drowned like rats in a trap at any moment. Will they keep up flawless operations for 5 mins , or an hour or two? Will the structure which is operated extremely infrequently, hold up to actual usage?

Whilst sub calibre firing is helpful for F/C exercises nothing stresses the system like real firing of real ammunition.

I am surprised that Antonio as an avid quoter of Tarrant fails to include the fact that the three KG Vs which fired on enemy warships only accumulated 4 hours and 6 mins total 14" engagement time in their carreers. Not long to debug systems. Tarrant, after outlining the shortcomings of the mounts the also states p213 "In short , KG V, PoW, DoY Anson and Howe saved Britain from defeat." He credits them alone for keeping the Kriegsmarine's major units stuck in harbour. A little over-generous I feel since I believe the FAA and their carriers "dissuaded the Germans from attempting a break-out into the Atlantic with Tirpitz, either alone or as part of a larger battle group." The battleships were a factor as well.

So we have records of Bismarck firing main armament in late 1940 and nothing for PoW unitil April 1941. By my reckoning that's about 5 months' head start.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Tirpitz sails on part of Rheinubung

Post by alecsandros » Sun Jan 17, 2016 7:04 pm

wadinga wrote:
So we have records of Bismarck firing main armament in late 1940 and nothing for PoW unitil April 1941. By my reckoning that's about 5 months' head start.
... Bismarck fired main armament in mid-October , March and April. Prince of Wales fired in March, April and May 1941. Bismarck fired full charge in March and April 1941 (allthough the log says sub-caliber again).

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