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 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:29 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote: The Bismarck meanwhile had changed its target to the Prince of Wales. Since the British battleship was very close to the wreckage of the Hood, the corrections required were very minimal.
Again, you are missing the point.
Someone has but I don't think it's dunmunro.
Pandora wrote: but the fact is that PoW was extremely lucky with her shooting considering she never got the correct range with her target.
I don't think that statement is correct. The fact that she got 3 hits is rather a good indicator that it isn't. As for luck that cuts both ways.
alecsandros wrote: ... In naval gunnery, any salvo, straddle, or not, is used to make corrections for the following salvos. Thus, any salvo is "effective", in this interpretation of the word. ...
But it's use in official documents implies the RN had a rather different definition does it not?
Pandora wrote:the problem is that PoW took so long to get the first straddle for whatever reasons. even if you are using optical means only, needing 6 salvos to get a straddle vs a target on a steady course under good visibility... well it is not good.
Of course the visibility form PoW position wasn't really well described by "good" was it? Furthermore the probability of getting a straddle is impacted significantly by the number of rounds fired. For instance even if you have the range perfectly if you are firing 2 guns you will only straddle half the time. With three guns it's still only 75% of the time and as I said that's with perfect range.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Washington

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:30 pm

Pandora wrote:
ede144 wrote:I wonder were you have the information ftom, that BS used EM II for range taking. I was under the impression that the one on Schnws station was defective. I'm not shure that it was possible to take range ftom an other station than direction.
iirc one radar was put out of action the night before vs Suffolk, so Bismarck had 2 other radars in service. what it is not clear to me is if they used them for range taking vs Hood-Pow. I am under the impression that at that time they used them just for surveilance that is why the Prinz took the lead the night before to cover the forward sector. also the Baron said that the battle was fought by optical means only.

The Baron wrote that he obeyed the order to survey Norfolk and and Suffolk by using his optical director. The optical director was a persiscope like device. I studied some Denmark St. photos of Bismarck in action and it appears that the aft optical rangefinder, which the radar antenna was mounted to, was aimed at Hood or Prince of Wales throughout. This is a strong indication that the aft radar was being used to range the enemy battleships, because it was not being used to range the enemy cruisers.

The aft range finder and the foretop range finder are always aimed in the same direction, but not the forward (conning tower) range finder in the Denmak St. photos. Seperate FuMO27 radars could be tied together and operated as one unit, using single Central Impulse Geraete, Z Geraete, and Summer. They may have been doing this. After the battle the foretop rangefinder and the aft range finder remain aimed on the same coordinants, which varies from photo to photo indicating that they are going around and around together through a 360* arc.


The most forward radar antenna is not operating, or at least not operating in concert with the other two. It remains aimed directly aft in several post Denmark St. photos. This may be an indication that the conning tower radar was the one knocked out. If the foretop radar was knocked out as well it may have been brought back online by tying it to the aft radar. Some survivors talking amongst themselves, but secretly monitored by the British, said that the faulty radar was repaired by late on 24th.

It's likely that the radar knocked out was the forward (conning tower) set as Luetjens used that term in his language. He may have wanted the foretop radar to use against the shadowing cruisers and not having the use of the most forward radar he needed the Prinz Eugen to use its radar to survey ahead. Hence the change in position.
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 Dave Saxton » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:16 pm

PG was using a combination of radar (EMII in the notes) and optics (EMI). Was Bismarck also? Most likely yes. OHare wrote: " Making Holland the scape goat ignores what sank the Hood: superior shooting and luck. The shooting of both German ships-particularly Bismarck- was outstanding."

That PG's shooting was outstanding there can be no question. It scored against the Hood first, with the opening salvoes, after opening fire at ranges exceeding 20km, and it scored right away after shifting fire to Prince of Wales, and it kept on scoring.

Bismarck always had the correct range throughout. Bismarck's opening bracket confirmed that it had the correct range from the beginning and it straddled through out the remaing action.

Could Bismarck shoot this well using optics alone? Of course. Could it shoot like this using optics and radar, or by radar alone? Of course it could.

Bismarck's and Prinz Eugen's shooting at Denmark St. was superior to Washington's and South Dakota's shooting east of Savo Island.
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 Dave Saxton » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:38 pm

Some of what Ohare wrote regarding POW's shooting:
The initial shooting by the British ships was not as good. Up to 0600 Prince of Wales fired nine times, but turret problems-the bane of her class- limited these to five, and then three -gun salvoes. She straddled with her sixth, but the fine angle and high speed of the approach prevented the British from obtaining accurate ranges.
As I recall POWs early salvoes were way over and they gradually came down in range and kept coming down so that all of the salvoes after number nine were short. It appears to me that POW only had the range for three salvoes by default.

I'm unclear if Y turret jammed when POW turned away taking its four guns out of action should further action continue?
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 » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:17 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
I'm unclear if Y turret jammed when POW turned away taking its four guns out of action should further action continue?
The following defects occurred in "Y" turret:-

Salvo 11 - No. 3 central ammunition hoist was raised with shell but no cordite; No. 25 interlock having failed to prevent this. The interlock was functioning correctly before the engagement. There has been no opportunity to investigate this. It is also reported that the reason no cordite had been rammed was that the indicator in the cordite handling room did not show that the cage had been raised after the previous ramming stroke. This caused the gun to miss salvoes 15 to 20.

Salvo 12 - Front flashdoors of No. 2 gun loading cage failed to open and cage could not be loaded. Flashdoors on transfer tubes were working correctly and investigation showed that adjustment was required on the vertical rod operating the palm levers which open the gun loading cage doors. To make this adjustment, three-quarter inch thread had to be cut on the rod. This defect was put in hand after the engagement had been broken off and was completed by 1300. It would appear that the operating gear had been strained, possibly by the foreign matter in the flashdoor casing making the doors tight. The doors were free when tried in the course of making the repair. This caused the gun to miss salvo 14 onwards.

Salvo 20 - Owing to the motion of the ship, a shell slid out of the port shell room and fouled the revolving shell ring while the latter was locked to the trunk and the turret was training. The hinge tray was severely buckled, putting the revolving shell ring out of action. The tray was removed, but on testing the ring it was found that No. 3 and 4 hinge trays of the starboard shell room had also been buckled and were fouling the ring. The cause of this is not yet known. The trays were removed and as the action had stopped by this time, No. 4 tray was dressed up and replaced. The ring was out of action until 0825.


-----

Salvos 19 (2 shells), 20 (1 shell) and 21 (1shell) were fired while the ship was turning away from Bismarck, between 6:03 - 6:05.
The turret jammed at 6:05, and remained jammed until 8:25.

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:06 pm

alecsandros wrote:


- at 6:02, the command tower was hit by a 38cm shell which killed all senior officers prsent there, except the captain. This probably made coordonated firing decisions impossible... The PoW ceased fire, only several minutes later reopening fire, with Y turret, on local control.
The compass platform was hit, not the CT or DCT, and PoW's firing was unaffected by this hit.

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:10 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Some of what Ohare wrote regarding POW's shooting:
The initial shooting by the British ships was not as good. Up to 0600 Prince of Wales fired nine times, but turret problems-the bane of her class- limited these to five, and then three -gun salvoes. She straddled with her sixth, but the fine angle and high speed of the approach prevented the British from obtaining accurate ranges.
As I recall POWs early salvoes were way over and they gradually came down in range and kept coming down so that all of the salvoes after number nine were short. It appears to me that POW only had the range for three salvoes by default.

I'm unclear if Y turret jammed when POW turned away taking its four guns out of action should further action continue?
Turret problems had nothing to do with the reductions in output up to Salvo 18; reductions in output to that point were caused by linkage problems and errors in drill.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:19 pm

dunmunro wrote:

The compass platform was hit, not the CT or DCT, and PoW's firing was unaffected by this hit.
The compass platform WAS in the command tower. Jeez !

"The situation was becoming tense on board the Prince of Wales; at 06:02, the Bismarck fired her eighth complete salvo from 14,000 meters and hit the British battleship on the command tower (compass platform), the shell passed thru not exploding but killing almost all of the men within(47). The Prince of Wales ceased fire(48). Luckily her Captain, J.C. Leach, was still alive and, after a few moments, desperately worked to bring his ship out of that dangerous position. He completed the turn around the sinking Hood and started an evasive manoeuvre, turning to port to disengage."

From the salvo plot it can be seen that, after firing 2 salvos at 6:01, (4 + 4 shells), PoW only fired again at 6:03, and than with only 2 shells. Than only 1 shell at 6:04 and another shell at 6:05.
Last edited by alecsandros on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:22 pm

dunmunro wrote:
Turret problems had nothing to do with the reductions in output up to Salvo 18; reductions in output to that point were caused by linkage problems and errors in drill.
No.

"B - Events during the First Action

The following defects developed in "A" turret:-

"A" Turret

On several occasions the shell ring rammers fouled the brackets on the hinge trays for No. 11 interlock. Shell could not be rammed until the bearing of the turret was changed. This also occurred in "Y" but did not prevent ramming.

No. 1 gun only fired one salvo, due to the events described in A (i).

After the second salvo, No. 24A interlock failed on No. 2 shell ring rammer. It was tripped after a short delay and thereafter assisted by hand.

About halfway through the firing, the tappets operating the shell ring arrestor release gear on No. 4 rammer failed to release the arrestor. Subsequent examination has shown that the shaft carrying the levers operating these tappets had twisted. The rammer was kept in action by giving the tappets a heavy blow at each stroke.

Shortly after this, a further defect occurred on No. 4 shell room rammer. When fully withdrawn the rammer failed to clear No. 7 interlock and the ring could not be locked. This was overcome by operating the gear with a pinch-bar at every stroke.

Throughout the engagement the conditions in "A" shell handling room were very bad; water was pouring down from the upper part of the mounting. Only one drain is fitted and became choked; with the result that water accumulated and washed from side to side as the ship rolled. The streams above and floods below drenched the machinery and caused discomfort to the personnel. More drains should be fitted in the shell handling room and consideration given to a system of water catchment combined with improved drainage in the upper parts of the revolving structure. Every effort is being made to improve the pressure systems and further attempts will be made as soon as opportunity occurs to improve the mantlet weathering, but a certain amount of leaking is inevitable
."

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:42 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
That PG's shooting was outstanding there can be no question. It scored against the Hood first, with the opening salvoes, after opening fire at ranges exceeding 20km, and it scored right away after shifting fire to Prince of Wales, and it kept on scoring.

.
PE output:
"Total 184 possible shots Actually fired = 157" = 85% output. If we assume 8 hits, then we have a 5.1% hit rate, or less than PoW, and PE had the benefit of radar ranging.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:49 pm

dunmunro wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:
That PG's shooting was outstanding there can be no question. It scored against the Hood first, with the opening salvoes, after opening fire at ranges exceeding 20km, and it scored right away after shifting fire to Prince of Wales, and it kept on scoring.

.
PE output:
"Total 184 possible shots Actually fired = 157" = 85% output. If we assume 8 hits, then we have a 5.1% hit rate, or less than PoW, and PE had the benefit of radar ranging.
Of course PoW had 5% hit rate. Most statistics don't include the final 4 shells fired by Y turret in local control. In total, the ship fired 59 shells for 3 hits.

http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... trait2.htm

Thus PE scored better than PoW, allthough having guns with far worse ballistics at the given battle range.
Last edited by alecsandros on Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:50 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:

The compass platform was hit, not the CT or DCT, and PoW's firing was unaffected by this hit.
The compass platform WAS in the command tower. Jeez !

"The situation was becoming tense on board the Prince of Wales; at 06:02, the Bismarck fired her eighth complete salvo from 14,000 meters and hit the British battleship on the command tower (compass platform), the shell passed thru not exploding but killing almost all of the men within(47). The Prince of Wales ceased fire(48). Luckily her Captain, J.C. Leach, was still alive and, after a few moments, desperately worked to bring his ship out of that dangerous position. He completed the turn around the sinking Hood and started an evasive manoeuvre, turning to port to disengage."

From the salvo plot it can be seen that, after firing 2 salvos at 6:01, (4 + 4 shells), PoW only fired again at 6:03, and than with only 2 shells. Than only 1 shell at 6:04 and another shell at 6:05.
PoW ceased fire because she was ordered to make an emergency turn:
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... encIVa.gif

the hit on the compass platform had nothing to do with it.

The DCT and FC control command and circuits are not routed through the compass platform, and the 14" guns would never stop firing without a direct order to so, or if the DCT no longer had the target under observation or there was an obvious problem with the plotted FC solution.
Last edited by dunmunro on Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:02 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:
That PG's shooting was outstanding there can be no question. It scored against the Hood first, with the opening salvoes, after opening fire at ranges exceeding 20km, and it scored right away after shifting fire to Prince of Wales, and it kept on scoring.

.
PE output:
"Total 184 possible shots Actually fired = 157" = 85% output. If we assume 8 hits, then we have a 5.1% hit rate, or less than PoW, and PE had the benefit of radar ranging.
Of course PoW had 5% hit rate. Most statistics don't include the final 4 shells fired by Y turret in local control. In total, the ship fired 59 shells for 3 hits.

http://www.hmshood.com/history/denmarks ... trait2.htm

Thus PE scored better than PoW, allthough having guns with far worse ballistics at the given battle range.
PE's guns have approximately the same ballistics as the RN 14", at 25K yds or less. The 20.3cm was a very high velocity, flat trajectory gun.

The final 4 rounds fire by PoW were not under dirctor control, and thus are excluded from the hit calculations, but even if we include them, the hit % = 5.1% or the same as PE, which had the benefits of radar ranging...

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Re: Washington

Post by dunmunro » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:12 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
Turret problems had nothing to do with the reductions in output up to Salvo 18; reductions in output to that point were caused by linkage problems and errors in drill.
No.

"B - Events during the First Action

The following defects developed in "A" turret:-

"A" Turret

On several occasions the shell ring rammers fouled the brackets on the hinge trays for No. 11 interlock. Shell could not be rammed until the bearing of the turret was changed. This also occurred in "Y" but did not prevent ramming.

No. 1 gun only fired one salvo, due to the events described in A (i).

After the second salvo, No. 24A interlock failed on No. 2 shell ring rammer. It was tripped after a short delay and thereafter assisted by hand.

About halfway through the firing, the tappets operating the shell ring arrestor release gear on No. 4 rammer failed to release the arrestor. Subsequent examination has shown that the shaft carrying the levers operating these tappets had twisted. The rammer was kept in action by giving the tappets a heavy blow at each stroke.

Shortly after this, a further defect occurred on No. 4 shell room rammer. When fully withdrawn the rammer failed to clear No. 7 interlock and the ring could not be locked. This was overcome by operating the gear with a pinch-bar at every stroke.

Throughout the engagement the conditions in "A" shell handling room were very bad; water was pouring down from the upper part of the mounting. Only one drain is fitted and became choked; with the result that water accumulated and washed from side to side as the ship rolled. The streams above and floods below drenched the machinery and caused discomfort to the personnel. More drains should be fitted in the shell handling room and consideration given to a system of water catchment combined with improved drainage in the upper parts of the revolving structure. Every effort is being made to improve the pressure systems and further attempts will be made as soon as opportunity occurs to improve the mantlet weathering, but a certain amount of leaking is inevitable
."
When I say "linkage" I mean mechanical problems with the shell feed system, which is exactly what is being described in the above quote.

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Re: Washington

Post by Dave Saxton » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:28 pm

Staddles tell us how good the shooting is. Hit % mainly tells us how lucky or unlucky.
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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