Tirpitz shelling New York

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by paul.mercer » Mon May 14, 2012 8:51 pm

Gentlemen,
I'm afraid that I cannot compete with you experts on range v penetration and calibre of weapons of one battlesip against another, but I do wonder if the sheer number of shells from a ship armed with 12x 14" guns would be a decisive factor, not neccessarily to sink Tirpitz but to cause so many multiple hits as to severely damage her upperworks, radar, fire control etc and cause her to turn away and use her superior speed to break off the engagement? I may be wrong, but did not the Japanese use these tactics in the early 1900's when faced with the Russian navy who had heavier but slower firing weapons against their smaller but quicker firing ones?
Also, was this not the thinking of the RN when they designed the KGV class, after all, surely it is not always neccessary to sink your opponent to win the battle even if that would be desirable?

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by alecsandros » Tue May 15, 2012 5:33 am

I am by no means an "expert", but my opinion is that quality matters more than quantity in this kind of battle. Not just quality of the guns, but more importantly quality of the battery and of the fire control system.

Of course it's good to have 12 shells in the air instead of 8, but what do you do if you can't find the range, while the enemy allready has you "in the sights" ?

New Mexico and her sister-ship Idaho performed shootings in the 30s and 40s, and the results weren't to good. Dispersion was high, rate of fire slow, and misfirings often.
Bismarck and Tirpitz on the other hand fired very accurate salvos, with high rate of fire and with fewer misfirings.

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by yellowtail3 » Thu May 17, 2012 10:37 pm

alecsandros wrote:New Mexico and her sister-ship Idaho performed shootings in the 30s and 40s, and the results weren't to good. Dispersion was high, rate of fire slow, and misfirings often.
I've read some of that... but I don't know that they were all that substandard. On dispesion being high... Relative to what? All three New Mexicos had newer guns and equipment which corrected those reputed dispersion problems, best I understand - they were pretty solid by 1940. Some threads on this very subject:
http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... ems?page=1
http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... reply-6782

In short... I think that 12x14" is a pretty fair match for 8x15", depending upon which 14" is in question. The particular 14" gun I'm talking about - the Mark 11 14"/50cal - had very good penetration, better than the guns on the Brit KGV ships. It had slightly better penetration than the 15" guns onboard Hood and other RN ships. Heck, at 25K yards it had (slightly) better penetration than Rodney's 16"/45. On the downside it had a smaller burster than the APC shells of those guns, but I'm of the opinion that when shooting at an armoured target penetration & energy is better than sometime-kaboom. I'll be glad to hear other opinions on that. I'm getting these numbers from Navweaps (neat site, BTW)

New Mexicos had the newest BB fire control in the fleet, prior to North Carolina and Washington getting worked up. I think the modernized Standards were pretty good ships. Not fast, but great armor and great guns.
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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by tommy303 » Fri May 18, 2012 12:20 am

Sources of dispersion problems in the USN in the Nevada and Pennyslvania class triples were:

Shot seating insufficient.
Uneven barrel wear between guns.
Muzzles too closely spaced.

The first would lead to internal ballistic problems which would show up as widely varying muzzle velocities and hence differing points of impact.
The second, which was almost unavoidable, was compounded by the guns in triples having a common cradle--i.e., they could not be individually adjusted to compensate for wear.
The proximity of the muzzles to one another probably compounded the other problems through muzzle effect and shell wave interference.

The problems were addressed in the New Mexico and Tennessee classes by improving shot seating, providing the guns with individual elevation so corrections could be made to compensate for differing amounts of barrel wear, improved range tables, and the incorporation of delay coils for the center guns in the 1930s (for both the 14-in 50s of the New Mexico and Tennessee classes, and the 14-in/45s of the Nevadas and Pennsylvanias). By the late 1930s a good many dispersion problems had been adequately addressed, although the common cradle 14-in/45s probably did not shoot as well as the 14-in/50s.

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by alecsandros » Fri May 18, 2012 5:42 am

tommy303 wrote:Sources of dispersion problems in the USN in the Nevada and Pennyslvania class triples were:


The proximity of the muzzles to one another probably compounded the other problems through muzzle effect and shell wave interference.
This was at least partialy solved by the mounting of delay coils in the late 30s...

However, the delay coils helped reduce the salvo patterns for individual turret salvos (3-gun salvos)
The 6-gun, 9-gun and 12-gun salvos would be affected by interference of the other turrets.

This is one of the reasons KGV class ended up with 10 guns, instead of the original 12 projected: shock effects from 12-gun salvos were considered to devastating for the ship's superstructures and fire control.

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by alecsandros » Fri May 18, 2012 6:07 am

yellowtail3 wrote:
In short... I think that 12x14" is a pretty fair match for 8x15", depending upon which 14" is in question.
The guns themselves were ok, but making them work 12 at once, in 4 triple turrets was very tricky.
Friedman mentions that during Idaho's 1942 full-battery tests, an average of 4 guns were available from each part (from the 6-guns fw and the 6-guns aft).
Thus, an average of 8 guns were fired. The best shootings comprised 6+5 gun-salvos. The worst 2+3 or even 2+1... But this was mainly due to crew fatigue, after over 90 minutes of constant firings.
New Mexicos had the newest BB fire control in the fleet, prior to North Carolina and Washington getting worked up. I think the modernized Standards were pretty good ships. Not fast, but great armor and great guns.
I agree they were good ships.
BUt they were slow for the new war, their vertical armor was of WW1 vintage (20% less resistant than 1930s class A armor), and they still had dipersion problems.

Of course they could do damage, and with a little luck even cause great damage.

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by yellowtail3 » Sat May 19, 2012 7:30 pm

alecsandros wrote:I agree they were good ships.
BUt they were slow for the new war, their vertical armor was of WW1 vintage (20% less resistant than 1930s class A armor), and they still had dipersion problems.
Dispersion problems for the New Mexicos, in 1941? You'll have to expand on that to convince me - do you have a source to back that up? I've not seen any indication of that, except as lore. I believe that by 1941, the New Mexico, Idaho, & Mississippi had all be re-equipped with the 14"/50cal Mark 11.

You wrote, regarding purported 'dispesion problems' of 14" guns:
alecsandros wrote:However, the delay coils helped reduce the salvo patterns for individual turret salvos (3-gun salvos)
The 6-gun, 9-gun and 12-gun salvos would be affected by interference of the other turrets.
This is specifically addressed on the Navweaps entry on the guns carried by the modernized New Mexicos:
http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_14-50_mk11.htm
The Mark 7 was a remanufactured 14"/50 (35.6 cm) Mark 4 with a smaller chamber, a shell centering cone, a single-slope band seat, uniform rifling and a tube locking ring. The Mark 11 was the Mark 7 with the addition of chromium plating to the bore. During the battleship modernization program of the 1930s, the 14"/50 (35.6 cm) Mark 11 was used to rearm the New Mexico and Tennessee Class Battleships, although the battleship Tennessee did not receive updated guns until 1942.
The problems with dispersion experienced with the 14"/50 (35.6 cm) Mark 4 guns seem to have been corrected with these rebuilt weapons. At Surigao Strait, USS Tennessee (BB-43) and USS California (BB-44) reported pattern sizes of 300 to 400 yards (275 to 365 m) for six and nine gun salvos at 20,000 yards (18,300 m), which was not appreciably different than that achieved by the newer battleships during the war.
In other words, they were fine; the USN had put a lot of effort over time into correcting probs w/14/50, and by mid-1930s they were fine. On fire control... bear in mind that the New Mexico isn't showing up with the same equipment she had at commissioning, she's received gear that was state of the art in the 1930s. She received additional horizontal protection, and torpedo protection. And I'll guess - just a guess? - that her crew has more time at sea and experience than the crew of the Tirpitz. She is not new, and smaller than Tirpitz, but.... other than speed, she's quite capable.
alecsandros wrote:Of course they could do damage, and with a little luck even cause great damage.
I agree wtih you on that. But in this scenario - a modernized New Mexico meeting/stopping a Tirpitz hell-bent on shelling Long Island? - no particular luck would be required. What would be lucky, would be for Tirpitz to get out of the fracas in good enough shape to get home.
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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun May 20, 2012 1:54 am

Wouldn't this line of thinking mean also; that say the New Jersy was sent from an Alaskian fjord in to bombard Tokyo and the Fuso was able to intercept it that NJ would be lucky to be in good enough shape following the fracus to get back home. Lets see Fuso has 12x14". It was modernized during the mid 1930s with improved horizontal armour and upgraded gunnery systems. It was bound to have a more experienced crew with more sea time than NJ's mostly consript crew.... I guess so..... :think:

But I don't know Washington's young crew had only been drilled twice for night battle, the last time 5 months previous, prior to fighting GCII. :think:
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: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by yellowtail3 » Sun May 20, 2012 2:28 am

Dave Saxton wrote:Wouldn't this line of thinking mean also; that say the New Jersy was sent from an Alaskian fjord in to bombard Tokyo and the Fuso was able to intercept it that NJ would be lucky to be in good enough shape following the fracus to get back home. Lets see Fuso has 12x14". It was modernized during the mid 1930s with improved horizontal armour and upgraded gunnery systems. It was bound to have a more experienced crew with more sea time than NJ's mostly consript crew.... I guess so..... :think:
I see where you're going, but... no, for a slew of reasons apart from reductio ad absurdum. First, the disparity beween 1944 New Jersey and Fuso is far greater than that between New Mexico & Tirpitz... Tirpitz had comparable/marginally more firepower than New Mexico, whereas NJ was far, FAR better armed than Fuso. Fuso is pretty light on armor, relative to just about everything called a battleship (that can't be said of NM, or any of the Standrds). By the time the NJ would be steaming in Jap waters, the Japs don't have much gas, and on experience... do those IJN guys get much underway time?

Of course, if the NJ's orders were to bombard Tokyo and then come home, we're in the twilight zone... but while we're there, she'll be better set to turn around and go home, having the range to run a lot further at high speed than Tirpitz.

More interesting would be Fuso intercepting a New Mexico. Place your bets (I know which one mine would be on...)
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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun May 20, 2012 5:01 am

It is actually the same thing. NM matching up to TP is just as absurd. Except NJ is easier to defeat than TP. It doesn't matter how much more firepower to protection you have once the protection is no longer enough. And NM's protection like Fuso's is not enough.
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: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by yellowtail3 » Sun May 20, 2012 5:24 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:It is actually the same thing. NM matching up to TP is just as absurd. Except NJ is easier to defeat than TP. It doesn't matter how much more firepower to protection you have once the protection is no longer enough. And NM's protection like Fuso's is not enough.
Nothing ever is against Bismarck or Tirpitz in a hypothetical matchup, everyone knows that...
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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun May 20, 2012 5:59 pm

A more even match up would be a new USN fast battlship or a KGV rather than this bit of hyperbole:
yellowtail3 wrote:Feb of 42.... Are the New Mexicos still on the east coast? Because if the tirpitz were to encounter any of them, her seagoing career would likely be much shortened
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: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by alecsandros » Sun May 20, 2012 6:59 pm

Sorry to jump in,
But the 14/50 and 14/45 were unleashed over Yamashiro in Surigao Strait. They were not impressive, even against that old battleship.

Tunny's "Battle of Surigao Strait" mentions some 20 minutes of manouvreing and fighting of the Japanese BB under heavy US gunfire.
Superstructures ablaze, "tens of 16" and 14" shells crashing and exploding against her armor", but the ship kjept on fighting.
It even damaged a US DD, and retreated while still under battleship fire.

At this point, it still had 2 main turrets operational, and could do ~ 20kts. Unfortunately, it was hit by a further 2-3 torpedoes from long range (after being hit earlier by 3 more torpedoes), and capsized, well out of range of Oldendor's battleline.

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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by yellowtail3 » Mon May 21, 2012 1:18 am

alecsandros wrote:Sorry to jump in,
But the 14/50 and 14/45 were unleashed over Yamashiro in Surigao Strait. They were not impressive, even against that old battleship.

Tunny's "Battle of Surigao Strait" mentions some 20 minutes of manouvreing and fighting of the Japanese BB under heavy US gunfire.
Superstructures ablaze, "tens of 16" and 14" shells crashing and exploding against her armor", but the ship kjept on fighting.
Leaving aside that prolly no 14"/45s hit... what does this tell you? That fourteen (and sixteen!) inch guns are weak reeds, or that a battleship can take a lot of punishment before sinking?
Dave Saxton wrote:A more even match up would be a new USN fast battlship or a KGV rather than this bit of hyperbole:...
What's a little hyperbole? Would it have been hyperbole if Lutjens had said, "We'll get through the Straits, boys; don't you worry, Even if they send out Hood, we'll sink her send what consort she brings back to the shipyard!"

Of course the North Carolina or a KGV would be a more even matchup; but a New Mexico would be sufficient to discourage a simple shore bombardment, I'd think. Probably. NC, on the other hand, if more likely to blow up a magazine and make even bigger holes, a lot deeper.
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Re: Tirpitz shelling New York

Post by Saltheart » Mon May 21, 2012 1:47 am

I think it would be a hell of a fight. Tirpitz is a bigger ship, good for absorbing punishment, but on the other side of that coin it's a bigger target so it's also easier to hit. New Mexico has thicker turret protection while Tirpitz has more powerful guns, it adds up to them being able to knock out each other's turrets. Tirpitz has a scarp that will keep shells out of it's magazines and New Mexico doesn't so that's a major advantage to Tirpitz in side protection.
Neither one can get through the other's decks so it's basically a vertical armor battle.

Tirpitz would be looking to kill off New Mexico as fast as possible and get away from the harbor area, New Mexico would be desperate to damage Tirpitz to stop it getting away so they'd both just go at it like crazy. It would be an incredible and intense gunfight.
Tirpitz has a higher rate of fire but New Mexico has more guns so basically they'd both be putting a lot of shells in the air. Tirpitz had excellent fire directors but so did New Mexico so I think they'd both start hitting quickly and then continously.

Luck would play a huge part, if they're both hitting then where they're hitting becomes everything. If a shell blows off an anchor chain that's one thing but if it hits and silences a turret that's another. The distance between those two might be just 10 or 15 metres so at a battle range of 15 -20 km it's a matter of pure luck which gets hit. If Tirpitz got the good hits it could damage New Mexico enough to be able to quit the fight and accelerate away. But if New Mexico is getting the good hits, especially if it's basically blocking the Tirpitz then things could get desperate for the Germans. If I was on the Tirpitz I'd close the range as fast as possible and start shooting into the hull even at just 10 km range to wreck their boiler rooms or get a magazine hit. They won't get through to my vitals with hull hits so I'd take the risk involved to other parts of the ship like losing a turret and just try and blast past the New Mexico hammering her hull so she can't follow.

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