Washington

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
lwd
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Re: Washington

Post by lwd » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:26 pm

alecsandros wrote:There are to many errors in your posts above.
Really? Let see.
First of all, PoW gunnery problems were mechanical problems, having little to do with crew training.
Kind of hard to train on the equipment if it isn't working right or technicians are trying to fix it isn't it?
Firing 55 shells out of 74 possible is not ok at all in a battle to the death.
I'm not sure just how you came up with this number but it's rather irrelevant as we were discussing the shooting not the reliability of her main ordinance which as stated was questionable at that point.
. PoW had some 20 minutes of salvos exchange with Bismarck (6:00 - 6:20), during which it fired erraticaly, did not hit anything, but received crippling hits instead.
The hit PoW made on Bismarck resulted in a mission kill. None of the hits on PoW were crippling that I know of. Part of that however is luck.
Second of all, Bismarck's crew was FAR, FAR from being prepared for battle. You can read AVKS-700 here on the site, and see how little training was actualy done until Rheinubung....
They were still much better trained than PoW crew and indeed the German Admiralty considered them well enough trained to commit them to the operation unlike Tirpitz.

So where in the post above were my errors?

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:49 pm

lwd wrote:
So where in the post above were my errors?
Please read again my comment, and look up the references; than we can talk.

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Re: Washington

Post by lwd » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:32 pm

alecsandros wrote:
lwd wrote:
So where in the post above were my errors?
Please read again my comment, and look up the references; than we can talk.
You claimed that there were multiple errors in my post just previous to yours. On the otherhand you didn't point to a single one and when asked for clarification you avoid doing so. That rather seems to indicate that you can't especially as relates to my main points which were as follows:

1) As far as accuracay goes the data shows that Bismarck was not shooting better that day than PoW in a statistically signifcant way.
2) PoW's crew had had far less time on her than Bismarck's crew had on her which would be expected to have a negative impact on both the accuarcy of her shooting and the number of rounds fired.
3) PoW was still having mechanical problems with her main armament which could also result in the same.
4) Tactical factors had a negative impact on PoW's accuracy as well. In particular radar failures and spray interfering with her optical directors.

The conclusion is clear the data does not support that Bismarck was a better shooting ship than PoW.

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:58 pm

alecsandros wrote:
lwd wrote: All things considered I don't think PoW has anything to be ashamed of as far as her firing went.
PoW did not obtain any more hits as soon as Bismarck took her under fire. Bismarck on the other hand obtained hits on both British capital ships while straddled and hit repeatedly...

Technical unreliability of quad turrets also played an important part in PoW performance that day.

Nothing to be ashame of, as far as the crew goes, but not up to Bismarck's output, precision or hit ratio nonetheless..
PoW didn't make anymore hits after Hood exploded. PoW was forced to make radical maneuvers to avoid Hood, which through off her FC solution, but none of Bismarck's hits effected PoW's main armament or FC.

Some of the problems with PoW's gunnery output were caused by errors in drill and others due to the unfinished installation and testing of her main armament; civilian workers from Vickers were still onboard, working on the turrets, when PoW left from Scapa Flow to engage Bismarck.

Bismarck had a functioning FC radar system, where both of PoW's radars failed, and PoW couldn't even obtain optical ranges during the opening salvos, so seen in this light PoW's gunnery compares very well with Bismarck's.

Neither PoW nor Bismarck scored any hits in the two subsequent engagements, although PoW may have straddled Bismarck at over 30,000 yds.

paul.mercer
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Re: Washington

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:03 pm

Gentlemen,
Forgive me for intruding on this discussion, but when Bismarck was cornered and unable to steer with her company in a fairly demoralised state, did she not make some pretty impressive shooting against Rodney (who was able to manouver) before the combined weight of shells destoyed her offensive capability?

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Re: Washington

Post by lwd » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:35 pm

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Forgive me for intruding on this discussion, but when Bismarck was cornered and unable to steer with her company in a fairly demoralised state, did she not make some pretty impressive shooting against Rodney (who was able to manouver) before the combined weight of shells destoyed her offensive capability?
The fact that Rodney was able to move in a more or less straight line may have actually aided Bismarck. In any case her first three salvoes were apparently a short, a long, and a straddle. My impression is both the short and the long were fairly close as well which is indeed good shooting.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:50 am

lwd wrote: The conclusion is clear the data does not support that Bismarck was a better shooting ship than PoW.
READ THE F****** REFERENCES.
Last edited by alecsandros on Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:52 am

dunmunro wrote: Neither PoW nor Bismarck scored any hits in the two subsequent engagements, although PoW may have straddled Bismarck at over 30,000 yds.
It's irrelevant; during the first battle, Bismarck, as a fighting unit, performed better than PoW, allthough under constant fire.
Bismarck also made several course alterations, one of which threw off her FC solution also. However, Bismarck reaquired the target and landed another hit (or hits) on PoW.

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Re: Washington

Post by lwd » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:12 pm

alecsandros wrote:
lwd wrote: The conclusion is clear the data does not support that Bismarck was a better shooting ship than PoW.
READ THE F****** REFERENCES.
If you think they counter either the facts or the logic I presented then why don't you post where your think I went wrong. A post such as the above is without value.

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Re: Washington

Post by lwd » Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:19 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote: Neither PoW nor Bismarck scored any hits in the two subsequent engagements, although PoW may have straddled Bismarck at over 30,000 yds.
It's irrelevant; during the first battle, Bismarck, as a fighting unit, performed better than PoW, allthough under constant fire.
Bismarck also made several course alterations, one of which threw off her FC solution also. However, Bismarck reaquired the target and landed another hit (or hits) on PoW.
However the statics show that that could as easily be a result of "luck" as skill. Again there is no basis for claiming that Bismarck's shooting was better than PoW in a statistically significant sense.

Canyon.DS

Re: Washington

Post by Canyon.DS » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:41 am

alecsandros wrote:
Canyon.DS wrote: Washington had radar directed fire control, linked to a system which could adjust both for own ships movement, and the movement of the target, which would have been hard to beat by any one at longer range.
For the record, Washington did not use RPC firing during his attack on Kirishima. Bismarck did, though, and it's probably one of the explanations why it obtained a higher % of hits than Hood and Prince of Wales.
In the Battle with Kirishima, I understand radar provided an accurate range. although it was not really necessary, due to the close range of the engagement, optical systems were very accurate. The main guns started under control of the starboard 5" directiors, then were shifted to their forward directors when they aquired Kirishima. Guns were layed optically. Optically was more accurate around the Islands, and with the radar clutter in the Solomons. Remenber, that fight took place at aabout 8000 yards. For Battleships that is the equivenent of a knife fight while inside of a telephone booth. No one's armor will be much use against the velocities employed at that "belly shooting" range. This would be quite unlike the conditions in the Atlantic, where range would be greater, and the radar pictures clearer, different decisions might be made.

I believe the radar the Washington recieved in '42 was an SG radar. It was very poorly mountes, with the ships stacks, etc blocking 60 % or so of the radars view. This led to the confusion on the bridge when Lee lost track of South Dakota and briefly thought Kirishima might be South Dakota instead.

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Re: Washington

Post by Dave Saxton » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:39 am

May I elaborate on some of your points Canyon DS. The poor mounting position of the SG antenna (in front of the tower bidge structure) was the result of the need to keep the transmission lines/wave guides between antenna and transmitter as short as possible. The British faced the same limitation with many of their Type 273 installations. For example, on British cruisers one can often find the 273 either low and forward of the bridge, or low and aft of the main superstuctures, with resulting blind spots either forward or aft.

The interference problems enccountered in the Solomons by American radars usually had to do with a too rapid PRF, resulting in too short unambiguious range limits to descriminate distant returns from important local returns, or minor lobes such as side lobes.

During Washington's cannonade of Kirshima they tried to spot the fall of shot once again using the Mk3 and Mk4 firecontrol radars but they could not. Theses radars had a resolution for range of 400 yards, so most shell splashes could not be descriminated from the target by the radars. In fact spotting the fall of shot was a big problem all night as the optics were blinded by the gun flashes of the ships own guns. US battleships did not have dedicated night optics for this purpose. Gunnery officers resorted to popping the hatches and trying with hand held binoculars.
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: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:50 am

lwd wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote: Neither PoW nor Bismarck scored any hits in the two subsequent engagements, although PoW may have straddled Bismarck at over 30,000 yds.
It's irrelevant; during the first battle, Bismarck, as a fighting unit, performed better than PoW, allthough under constant fire.
Bismarck also made several course alterations, one of which threw off her FC solution also. However, Bismarck reaquired the target and landed another hit (or hits) on PoW.
However the statics show that that could as easily be a result of "luck" as skill. Again there is no basis for claiming that Bismarck's shooting was better than PoW in a statistically significant sense.
Ok, I'm calmer now.
I took my pills!

From AVKS-700, we know that Bismarck battle training lasted only 11 days. That's because there were many problems in Oct-Nov 1940 with the main battery, which brought the ship back to port. Later, bad weather kept the ship at Kiel. Only in March 1941 did the ship restart training, scheduled until late April. But, as Rheinubung was hastily put into action, the ship was back in port by April 2nd, with most of the AA training not executed, and only with some parts of main battery training performed.

-----

The 3/55 and 6/93 statistics are not sufficient to draw a conclusion.
Very important is that the 6 x 38cm hits were obtained on 2 different ships, and while under enemy fire, while the 3x35.6cm hits were obtained unchallengend, against one single target.
Also, PoW lost target while maneuvreing, while Bismarck mantained it's FC solution for the entire battle, maneuvreing throughout, except the 3 minutes interval when in performed the 50* turn to starboard, to avoid the imaginary torpedoes that PE signalled.

And yes, as Duncan mentioned above, Bismarck used integrated-radar-directed FC, while PoW's radars were out of action for the entire battle.

------
And, of course, perhaps more important is to see how many straddles were obtained by either ship against the enemy... And Bismarck consistently straddled both British ships, while PoW obtained 4 or 5 straddles...

Francis Marliere
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Re: Washington

Post by Francis Marliere » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:27 am

Dave Saxton wrote:May I elaborate on some of your points Canyon DS. The poor mounting position of the SG antenna (in front of the tower bidge structure) was the result of the need to keep the transmission lines/wave guides between antenna and transmitter as short as possible. The British faced the same limitation with many of their Type 273 installations. For example, on British cruisers one can often find the 273 either low and forward of the bridge, or low and aft of the main superstuctures, with resulting blind spots either forward or aft.

The interference problems enccountered in the Solomons by American radars usually had to do with a too rapid PRF, resulting in too short unambiguious range limits to descriminate distant returns from important local returns, or minor lobes such as side lobes.

During Washington's cannonade of Kirshima they tried to spot the fall of shot once again using the Mk3 and Mk4 firecontrol radars but they could not. Theses radars had a resolution for range of 400 yards, so most shell splashes could not be descriminated from the target by the radars. In fact spotting the fall of shot was a big problem all night as the optics were blinded by the gun flashes of the ships own guns. US battleships did not have dedicated night optics for this purpose. Gunnery officers resorted to popping the hatches and trying with hand held binoculars.
Dave,

thanks for your precisions. Very interesting, as always. May I add that no USN warship at that time had flashless powder ? The results were that the flash both blinded the US ship and illuminated it for the Japanese. I don't know when / if flashless powder was issued later in the war.

Best,

Francis

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Re: Washington

Post by lwd » Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:26 pm

alecsandros wrote:... From AVKS-700, we know that Bismarck battle training lasted only 11 days.
But there is more to training than just "battle training is there not? How much such training did PoW get?
That's because there were many problems in Oct-Nov 1940 with the main battery, which brought the ship back to port.
Yet you seem to discount similar problems experianced by PoW.
Later, bad weather kept the ship at Kiel. Only in March 1941 did the ship restart training, scheduled until late April. But, as Rheinubung was hastily put into action, the ship was back in port by April 2nd, with most of the AA training not executed, and only with some parts of main battery training performed.
Still in comparison to PoW she had considerably more time. Indeed as is well known PoW still had a significant number of civilian workers on board working on her main armament when she left port.
The 3/55 and 6/93 statistics are not sufficient to draw a conclusion.
Correct.
Very important is that the 6 x 38cm hits were obtained on 2 different ships, and while under enemy fire, while the 3x35.6cm hits were obtained unchallengend, against one single target.
Not really, indeed one could go so far as to say not at all considering the tactical situation. PoW only had a slight offset in azimuth to Hood and I believe actually moved through the zone where Bismarck's last salvo at Hood landed.
Also, PoW lost target while maneuvreing, while Bismarck mantained it's FC solution for the entire battle, maneuvreing throughout, except the 3 minutes interval when in performed the 50* turn to starboard, to avoid the imaginary torpedoes that PE signalled.
Indeed but Bismarck didn't have to make radical maneuvers to avoid hitting another ship did she? Nor did she have to contend with smoke from a sinking ship close aboard.
And yes, as Duncan mentioned above, Bismarck used integrated-radar-directed FC, while PoW's radars were out of action for the entire battle.
Eaxctly and PoW was having probmems with her optical systems as well due to the weather and direction of travel yet the statistis still donot allow the conclusion that Bismarck was shooting better.
And, of course, perhaps more important is to see how many straddles were obtained by either ship against the enemy... And Bismarck consistently straddled both British ships, while PoW obtained 4 or 5 straddles...
In the past when I've brought up that straddles may be a better indicator of shooting quality than hits others have argued against it. We could indeed run the statistics on straddles but the analysis to insure a good comparison would be a bit trickeir.

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