Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:43 pm

Thorsten Wahl wrote: On the other hand the opponents were developing electronic counter measures
-jamming radar
-creating decoys
-reduce radar retroreflection
.
Regarding Jamming, following the Bruneval Raid the Germans instituted Aktion Wismar. This required that German radar be frequency agile. Seetakt was already partly Wismar compliant by 1942, however. This was because the British began jamming Calias B stations being used for directing blind fire against coastal shipping in early 1941. The German response was to make Seetakt frequency agile.

Wuerzburg (the primary AA directing radar) however, never did become very frequency agile and was more vulnerable to noise jamming tactics such as Carpet.

Freya wasn't as vulnerable to noise jamming as the Germans allowed the British to think it was. The Germans let the British think that their jamming was working well against Freya so that they would not develop more effective jamming techniques.

Freya and Seetakt encoded the sent pulses and their receivers responded mainly to echoes that contained the encoding. The British at first used frequency modulation noise jamming and this was actually more effective against the GEMA radar designs, but they dropped this and went to amplitude modulation noise jamming, which was ironically less effective.


Window was the most effective means of dealing with both Wuerzburg and Seetakt (especially Wuerzburg with conical scan), at least until Wuerzburg developed MTI. Window wasn't used much at sea though, but had there been a real need, MTI could have been added to Seetakt fairly easly.

The Germans developed a jamming technique that jammed the lobing or scanning frequency. This was why Type 274 couldn't spot the the fall of shot. The tranmitted beam wasn't scanned or lobe switched, so that the scanning frequency would remain hidden from the enemy. It therefore couldn't detect splashes falling outside of the very narrow beam of less than 1*. Seetakt also used Lobe On Receive Only from 1940 onward as well. USN FC radars such as MK8 and Mk13 were very vulnerable to this type of counter measure.

The Germans were the leaders in development of reduced radar cross section by experimenting with Stealth aircraft ideas and stealth U-boat conning towers and so forth. Of course reducing the radar cross section of large WWII warships isn't practical even now.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:23 pm

Gentlemen,
I'm a bit puzzled. Most of the threads on this Forum seem to say that out of Bismarck and the KGV class that Bismarck was a superior ship in almost every way and that Tirpitz was possibly even better, yet when we add Vanguard to the senario the British ships assume a rough parity with the Germans which would suggest that either Vanguard was vastly superior or that the KGV's were actaully not all that bad. Please straighten me out!

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by alecsandros » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:42 am

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
I'm a bit puzzled. Most of the threads on this Forum seem to say that out of Bismarck and the KGV class that Bismarck was a superior ship in almost every way and that Tirpitz was possibly even better, yet when we add Vanguard to the senario the British ships assume a rough parity with the Germans which would suggest that either Vanguard was vastly superior or that the KGV's were actaully not all that bad. Please straighten me out!
Any naval battle between heavyweights can go either way due to Murphy's laws :)

On paper, BS+TZ in 1945 would retain a slight advantage over VG+KGV, due to their excellent vital protection, larger displacement, very good stability, and long-range fire control precision.

However, we should keep in mind that Hood+PoW had a massive paper advantage at Denmark Strait, yet the outcome was a completely different one from what "the paper" said :)

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:33 pm

alecsandros wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
I'm a bit puzzled. Most of the threads on this Forum seem to say that out of Bismarck and the KGV class that Bismarck was a superior ship in almost every way and that Tirpitz was possibly even better, yet when we add Vanguard to the senario the British ships assume a rough parity with the Germans which would suggest that either Vanguard was vastly superior or that the KGV's were actaully not all that bad. Please straighten me out!
Any naval battle between heavyweights can go either way due to Murphy's laws :)

On paper, BS+TZ in 1945 would retain a slight advantage over VG+KGV, due to their excellent vital protection, larger displacement, very good stability, and long-range fire control precision.

However, we should keep in mind that Hood+PoW had a massive paper advantage at Denmark Strait, yet the outcome was a completely different one from what "the paper" said :)
True, but Hood was an old battlecruiser and PoW was not really fit to fight, I was assuming that both sides had a fully worked ships and crews.

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by alecsandros » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:09 pm

paul.mercer wrote: True, but Hood was an old battlecruiser and PoW was not really fit to fight, I was assuming that both sides had a fully worked ships and crews.
"Old battlecruiser"... Rodney was also an old battleship, yet it silenced Bismarck in the final battle...
And PoW fought quite good - I doubt KGV instead of PoW would have made much of a difference that day.

The idea is that the little things tend to matter more than we like to aknowledge...

---

Technically, the upgraded KGV's of the 1944-45 were very powefull battleships. Their weaknesses in respect to GErman 38cm artillery would mainly be the turrets (vulnerable up to 25km), con tower (vulnerable beyond 30km), and the 45% of the waterline which was not protected by armor. Quad turrets also tend to form large patterns, and this can be a problem when firing at long range.
Still, they wielded 10x14" guns and a very thick main armor belt.

Vanguard appeared to have been an excellent battleship, with excellent protection, armament and fire control. It's main weakness would probably be the lightly armored con tower, which could be destroyed at > 30km by German fire.

The 2 Bismarck's would have the entire section between the panzer deck and upper deck vulnerable to 14 and 15" shells at any range. The main con tower would be vulnerable at 21km or less, the turret's main face likewise.
Of course, an underwater shell would pose greater danger to the German ships than it would to the British, as their belt did not go as deep.

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by lwd » Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:16 pm

Since I've been debating a bunch of alecsandros's post recentlly I felt I should stat that I'm in pretty much total agreement with the following:
alecsandros wrote: ...
Any naval battle between heavyweights can go either way due to Murphy's laws :)

On paper, BS+TZ in 1945 would retain a slight advantage over VG+KGV, due to their excellent vital protection, larger displacement, very good stability, and long-range fire control precision.

However, we should keep in mind that Hood+PoW had a massive paper advantage at Denmark Strait, yet the outcome was a completely different one from what "the paper" said :)
The only quibble I might have would be how much of an advantge long range fire would represent. On the other hand the rof and high velocity 15" guns should give the German ships a bit of an edge at closer ranges as well.

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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:04 pm

The only quibble I might have would be how much of an advantge long range fire would represent.
Look at this! If the argument would have included the USN carrier escorts of the Iowa Class then the long range gunnery would have been the solid rock to argument a USN favorable outcome. But because it is the German (or British or martians) then it is not so relevant. Jeeez!
:pray:
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Re: Bismarck and Tirpitz meeting Vanguard and KGV

Post by lwd » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:56 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:
The only quibble I might have would be how much of an advantge long range fire would represent.
Look at this! If the argument would have included the USN carrier escorts of the Iowa Class then the long range gunnery would have been the solid rock to argument a USN favorable outcome. But because it is the German (or British or martians) then it is not so relevant. Jeeez!
:pray:
Indeed. US and Japanese doctrine was to open fire at long range then open the range. Niether British nor German doctrine conformed to this did they? In the case of a German British matchup long range performance is clearly likely to be less important than one involving the US or Japan (especially if they have faster ships) conversely the short range edge wasn't mentioned and it might prove quite important.

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