Washington

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
User avatar
Rick Rather
Member
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:15 am
Location: Dallas, Texas USA

Re: Washington

Post by Rick Rather » Wed May 09, 2012 12:25 pm

alecsandros wrote:I meant during the WW2...
Why should that matter? The handling equipment, safety devices and bag designs were all WWII vintage. The accident could have happened at any time.
Good film
Indeed! I'm sure you noticed the pass-through scuttles for the powder bags: They were "fail-safe" - if they were at all open on one side of the flame-proof bulkhead, they were completely closed on the other side.

I dimly recall some accidents that happened in the early 1900s (iirc on predreadnoughts). In one case, the powder chain from the top of the turret to the bottom was open, and a flash-fire killed everyone in the turret and barbette, but did not sink the ship. In another, similar incident, a gunner's mate won the Medal of Honor for closing a scuttle in time to save the ship. I think they were written-up in E.L. Beach's The United States Navy. I'll have to see if I can find my copy...
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
-- R. Rather

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Rick Rather wrote:
alecsandros wrote:I meant during the WW2...
Why should that matter? The handling equipment, safety devices and bag designs were all WWII vintage. The accident could have happened at any time.
I don't know if there were the same procedures ? And I don't know if the turret interior was altered during the early 80s refit...

Again, there were plenty of catastrophic explosions of magazines/cartridges during WW2, and no ship I know of survived:
Barham, Hood, Mutsu, Kirishima, Yamato, Bretagne, Fuso, Arizona, Roma... There are also possibilities for Kongo, Yamashiro and Scharnhorst.
In fact, now that I think about it, catastrophic explosion of the shells/propellant charges happened in most of the battleships/battlecruisers sinkings of the war.
Weird...


Indeed! I'm sure you noticed the pass-through scuttles for the powder bags: They were "fail-safe" - if they were at all open on one side of the flame-proof bulkhead, they were completely closed on the other side.
Yes, but a flame-proof bulkhead hit by BB shell or BB shell splinters becomes non-flame proof :)

The volume of the explosion of a 700kg+ shell is usualy large - depending on filler type and projectile mass...

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3099
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Washington

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed May 09, 2012 2:30 pm

Saltheart wrote:Thanks for that. I wonder how much that 18 inch Class B plate would have been worth in protection when "converted" to Krupp cemented. Maybe 15 inches?
The limit velocities in NRL studies were about 20% lower than they should have been.

Converting the protective qualities of homogenous armour to cemented armour is complicated because of the interaction of capped and un capped shell with the different types of armour at different striking angles. The more acute the striking angle is away from the normal (right angle), the better homogenous armour performs. This is why homogenous armour is used for deck armour because the striking angle is usually going to be at least 60* from the normal. On the other hand where the striking angle is less than about 50* from the normal; face hardened or cemented armour is used, because it works better at those striking angles.

The severely laid-back frontal plates on some turret designs work better with homogenous armour against flat trajectories but it becomes less useful as the battle range increases because eventually the increased angle of fall will put the striking angle right on the normal should it strike the angled plate. The 45* angle used by the modern American battleships is not at all ideal for using homogenous armour against either flat trajectory or longer range fire, but it was originally intended to use cemented armour.

Only the French used cemented armour on turret roofs, because they thought the greater danger was bombs- which strike at or near the normal. This explains how a Hood 15" shell perforated a turret roof at only about 15,000 yards against Dunkerque.

The French put thick armour on their turret faces which were laid back 17*. Richelieu had 17" face hardened armour (what was the comparitive quality and did they succeed in fabricating such thick face hardened plates of acceptable quality?). With only two turrets such heavy protection was called for.

However, I have always found it interesting to read on the internet how egg shell fragile the German turrets were with 14.2" KC faces, and the 7.2" Wh severely angled facet, and the 5.2" Wh roof.
Looking at some some other face thickness:
Vangaurd- 13"
KGV-12.75"
Renown -11"
Littorio-14"
Nagato-14"
Kirishima-9"
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.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 09, 2012 2:52 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:

However, I have always found it interesting to read on the internet how egg shell fragile the German turrets were with 14.2" KC faces, and the 7.2" Wh severely angled facet, and the 5.2" Wh roof.
Looking at some some other face thickness:
Of course, and the cables and communication tubes on Bismarck were unarmored, easily destroyable by stones, and greek fire (also from the internet :) )

Saltheart
Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:46 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Wed May 09, 2012 3:24 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:

However, I have always found it interesting to read on the internet how egg shell fragile the German turrets were with 14.2" KC faces, and the 7.2" Wh severely angled facet, and the 5.2" Wh roof.
Looking at some some other face thickness:
Of course, and the cables and communication tubes on Bismarck were unarmored, easily destroyable by stones, and greek fire (also from the internet :) )
Were those the cables which were protected by 8.7 inches of armor? I think there was some book written by an "expert" awhile back that after years of his exhaustive research included the unprotected cables stuff. But of course you're not allowed to point out any facts that contradict it. It means you're a fanboy and are "threatened" by any criticism of Bismarck. The fact that the points made about Bismarck's flaws might not actually be correct is irrelevant of course.

Saltheart
Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:46 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Wed May 09, 2012 3:36 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
Saltheart wrote:Thanks for that. I wonder how much that 18 inch Class B plate would have been worth in protection when "converted" to Krupp cemented. Maybe 15 inches?
The limit velocities in NRL studies were about 20% lower than they should have been.

Converting the protective qualities of homogenous armour to cemented armour is complicated because of the interaction of capped and un capped shell with the different types of armour at different striking angles. The more acute the striking angle is away from the normal (right angle), the better homogenous armour performs. This is why homogenous armour is used for deck armour because the striking angle is usually going to be at least 60* from the normal. On the other hand where the striking angle is less than about 50* from the normal; face hardened or cemented armour is used, because it works better at those striking angles.

The severely laid-back frontal plates on some turret designs work better with homogenous armour against flat trajectories but it becomes less useful as the battle range increases because eventually the increased angle of fall will put the striking angle right on the normal should it strike the angled plate. The 45* angle used by the modern American battleships is not at all ideal for using homogenous armour against either flat trajectory or longer range fire, but it was originally intended to use cemented armour.

Only the French used cemented armour on turret roofs, because they thought the greater danger was bombs- which strike at or near the normal. This explains how a Hood 15" shell perforated a turret roof at only about 15,000 yards against Dunkerque.

The French put thick armour on their turret faces which were laid back 17*. Richelieu had 17" face hardened armour (what was the comparitive quality and did they succeed in fabricating such thick face hardened plates of acceptable quality?). With only two turrets such heavy protection was called for.

However, I have always found it interesting to read on the internet how egg shell fragile the German turrets were with 14.2" KC faces, and the 7.2" Wh severely angled facet, and the 5.2" Wh roof.
Looking at some some other face thickness:
Vangaurd- 13"
KGV-12.75"
Renown -11"
Littorio-14"
Nagato-14"
Kirishima-9"
Yes Bismarck's turrets were better than or the same as most contempories. Only the US and France had thicker face plates and as the US armor was weaker at some ranges as you've pointed out it wasn't a big advantage. Maybe only the French had genuinely better protected turrets, apart from the roofs. I remember reading about face hardened armor on the roofs and how the 15 inch shell actually ripped in half while striking it. It knocked out half the turret while half the shell ended up in the town. The forces involved must have been appaling to rip a 1938 pound APC shell in half.
The French guns and engines were superb though, if they'd solved the dispersion problems and had the time to really complete the ships they would have been excellent. I think Jean Bart was going to have one turret forward and one back for better turret arrangement.

But yes all the stuff about the fragile Bismarck turrets was nonsense. All their rapid knocking out proved for me was that turrets are easily silenced even if not penetrated and that goes therefore for any ship. South Dakota's 3 big turrets would have been silenced just the same as Bismarck's were as the barbette hit that messed with a turret showed at Savo Island.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 09, 2012 3:42 pm

Saltheart wrote: Were those the cables which were protected by 8.7 inches of armor? I think there was some book written by an "expert" awhile back that after years of his exhaustive research included the unprotected cables stuff. But of course you're not allowed to point out any facts that contradict it. It means you're a fanboy and are "threatened" by any criticism of Bismarck. The fact that the points made about Bismarck's flaws might not actually be correct is irrelevant of course.
I think it was Preston's "Worst warships of all times" or something like that :)

The main comm tower was 220mm thick (or 8.7" I guess), and to get to it a shell needed to travel at least 80mm Whotan (if it went through the deck) or 145mm KC n/A - through the upper armored belt.

The main power cables were lined along the belt, immediately beneath the panzer deck.

---
What's realy funny is that the most online critics are fanboys themselves - but of different designs, such as South Dakota or Iowa, or Yamato, even Richelieu...

Saltheart
Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:46 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Wed May 09, 2012 3:56 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Saltheart wrote: Were those the cables which were protected by 8.7 inches of armor? I think there was some book written by an "expert" awhile back that after years of his exhaustive research included the unprotected cables stuff. But of course you're not allowed to point out any facts that contradict it. It means you're a fanboy and are "threatened" by any criticism of Bismarck. The fact that the points made about Bismarck's flaws might not actually be correct is irrelevant of course.
I think it was Preston's "Worst warships of all times" or something like that :)

The main comm tower was 220mm thick (or 8.7" I guess), and to get to it a shell needed to travel at least 80mm Whotan (if it went through the deck) or 145mm KC n/A - through the upper armored belt.

The main power cables were lined along the belt, immediately beneath the panzer deck.

---
What's realy funny is that the most online critics are fanboys themselves - but of different designs, such as South Dakota or Iowa, or Yamato, even Richelieu...
I know, I just call the South Dakota bunch "USA, ALL THE WAY" :) Has to be repeated twice though.

I like the Yamato fans, they give the Iowa bunch hell. And anyway the Yamatos have got to be some of the most striking looking battleships ever built. The huge crest and incredible superstructure alone put the Iowas to shame. There's something so lifeless about the Iowas, I guess the word is boring.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 09, 2012 4:18 pm

Saltheart wrote:
I know, I just call the South Dakota bunch "USA, ALL THE WAY" :) Has to be repeated twice though.
:D :D :D
I like the Yamato fans, they give the Iowa bunch hell. And anyway the Yamatos have got to be some of the most striking looking battleships ever built. The huge crest and incredible superstructure alone put the Iowas to shame. There's something so lifeless about the Iowas, I guess the word is boring.
Indeed, beautifull ship, and debilitating work put into it...
I sometimes think about the Yamato replacing Kirishima during Guadalcanal... I guess both SD and Washington would be studied today on the sea floor... :)

Saltheart
Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:46 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Wed May 09, 2012 4:35 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Saltheart wrote:
I know, I just call the South Dakota bunch "USA, ALL THE WAY" :) Has to be repeated twice though.
:D :D :D
I like the Yamato fans, they give the Iowa bunch hell. And anyway the Yamatos have got to be some of the most striking looking battleships ever built. The huge crest and incredible superstructure alone put the Iowas to shame. There's something so lifeless about the Iowas, I guess the word is boring.
Indeed, beautifull ship, and debilitating work put into it...
I sometimes think about the Yamato replacing Kirishima during Guadalcanal... I guess both SD and Washington would be studied today on the sea floor... :)
Yes. I think there's a very good chance as Yamato is less likely to have been ambushed at all. With the crew Yamato had in late 42 Washington would have been spotted and taken on. Then fire switched back to South Dakota. The Japanese cruisers and destroyers with long lance torpedoes could have then finished things off. Yamato would have then have had to run to get out of range of Henderson field.

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 3099
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Washington

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed May 09, 2012 4:36 pm

Lee was most lucky that all of the dozens of torpedoes fired at his BBs failed to score any hits.
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.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 4349
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 09, 2012 5:19 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Lee was most lucky that all of the dozens of torpedoes fired at his BBs failed to score any hits.
Indeed.

How many 460mm shots do you think would have been needed to sink South Dakota ? :)

Saltheart
Member
Posts: 88
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:46 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Wed May 09, 2012 5:29 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:Lee was most lucky that all of the dozens of torpedoes fired at his BBs failed to score any hits.
Indeed.

How many 460mm shots do you think would have been needed to sink South Dakota ? :)
South Dakota was a sitting duck. If the Japanese had realised this and closed on her they could have driven 18 inch shells into her hull both on and beneath the waterline and sunk her pretty quick. Mind you she probably would have run so they'd have had to chase her with destroyers and torpedo her.

Djoser
Senior Member
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:45 am
Location: Key West Florida USA

Re: Washington

Post by Djoser » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:34 pm

alecsandros wrote:
tommy303 wrote:The propellant charges were always the greatest concern of designers, as these were far more vulnerable once taken out of the magazine powder tanks. In US and RN ships there were numerous interlocks to isolate the charges during transportation between magazine and handling room, and handling room and gunhouse. The ignition of any charges in the gun house or in transport between handling room and gunhouse would be catastrophic for the turret, but not necessarily fatal to the ship due to safeguards, providing the strict handling safety precautions were being followed--i.e., only the required number of charges being exposed at any one time. This had been learned at considerable cost during WW1 when it was often the case that an excessive number of charges were allowed to accumulate in handling rooms in order to maintain a high rate of fire.
Was there any BB/BC to survive explosion of the propellant charges ? Hood and Mutsu were most likely destroyed by them. Bretagne likewise. Yamato suffered a catastrophic explosion while sinking... Kirishima also. Arizona also...
LIon more or less did at Jutland, a while after the initial hit ripped the roof plate from the front and exploded inside, killing or severely wounding everyone in the gunhouse (except I think one guy who reported to the bridge but he was singed at least). One of the propellant charges is supposed to have slipped out of the loading cage or breech left open, about 20 minutes after the initial hit, and to have been ignited by burning clothing, etc. The flare of flame shot up nearly to the masthead, and observers thought the ship was doomed. But even though this was probably the result of several charges going up with the one ignited in the gunhouse, the safety measures insisted upon by one of the gunnery officers (I don't have my source but the recollection only handy lol) in the face of some opposition from his higher ups, due to the obsession in the Battlecruiser Fleet with rapid fire, led to the ship not blowing up like the other three BCs. Of course we don't know for a fact that all three BCs blew up due to the stacking of charges alone--there were other factors.

Djoser
Senior Member
Posts: 382
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:45 am
Location: Key West Florida USA

Re: Washington

Post by Djoser » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:43 pm

There was also the catastrophic explosion of charges in the Seydlitz rear superfiring turret not once but twice--the second time at Jutland affecting only the elevated superfiring turret, not the one lower down which went up too at Dogger Bank. There were also propellant explosions/flareups in both the Derfflinger's rear turrets at Jutland, with flames 'high as houses' shooting out of the turrets.

Post Reply