Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

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Steve Crandell
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Steve Crandell » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:24 am

alecsandros wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:
The 11" guns and their directors were not stabilized and they seem to have done better than the 4.1".
"Germany
28 cm/52 (11") SK C/28
Updated 02 April 2011.
This weapon was used on the famous Panzerschiffes or "Pocket Battleships" Lützow (ex-Deutschland), Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee. The turrets were fitted with RPC only for elevation. "
That is not stabilization.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by alecsandros » Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:05 am

Steve Crandell wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:
The 11" guns and their directors were not stabilized and they seem to have done better than the 4.1".
"Germany
28 cm/52 (11") SK C/28
Updated 02 April 2011.
This weapon was used on the famous Panzerschiffes or "Pocket Battleships" Lützow (ex-Deutschland), Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee. The turrets were fitted with RPC only for elevation. "
That is not stabilization.
... I may be wrong, but my thinking is this: the RPC for elevation kept the guns at a steady elevation from the sea, automatically correcting for motions of own ship. If so, than I see it as a sort of stabilisation....

Graf Spee's main battery fire brough about 2x more %hits then Exeter and about 3x more than Ajax+Achilles. Perhaps this was in part due to the RPC ?

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Steve Crandell » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:19 am

Dave Saxton wrote:There were three directors at the foretop.
How many of those three were capable of bearing on the same target?

When the range finder cupula was hit, how many of the directors were put out of action, and why weren't they used after the cupula was hit? On Bismarck, all three directors at the after FC position were put out of action by the same hit that destroyed the range finder cupula.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Steve Crandell » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:29 am

alecsandros wrote: ... I may be wrong, but my thinking is this: the RPC for elevation kept the guns at a steady elevation from the sea, automatically correcting for motions of own ship. If so, than I see it as a sort of stabilisation....

Graf Spee's main battery fire brough about 2x more %hits then Exeter and about 3x more than Ajax+Achilles. Perhaps this was in part due to the RPC ?

I would agree that RPC helps with gunnery accuracy, especially in long engagements with lots of maneuvering where humans charged with matching pointers manually would tend to get tired.

It isn't stabilization, though.

With respect to the stabilized 10.5cm mounting: http://navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_41-65_skc33.htm

Specifically: "Note the triaxial mounting in the picture below. This was intended to be able to compensate for the motion of the ship and so maintain target lock. Unfortunately, this mounting proved to be susceptible to electrical faults as it was not sufficiently waterproofed and the mountings were opened to the weather. These earlier mounts had limited RPC. The "H" class battleships were to have much improved enclosed mounts with full RPC, but these ships were never completed."

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Matrose71 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:29 am

Perhaps you could tell us, if it was not full RPC or stabilization, what was it then?

http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-013.htm
http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-052.htm

Also you should explain, why all german cruisers (PBB and Hippers) were shooting so much better in real battles then their allied or IJN counterparts?
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6494#p60819

The same you can say about the german BB's except BS and SH at it's last battles (Bismarck uncontroled hull and SH only one turret left without it's main radar)

Every expert will tell you that the german heavy units since the PBB Deutschland had a full working RPC/stabilization inclusive the Seitenvorzündwerk, which was state of the art the whole war.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:45 am

...That is not stabilization

all german capital ships had stabilisation, comparable to the "Stable Vertical" of US-ships, using gyros and pendulums.
The firecontrol equipment improved during the thirties practically from ship to ship with Bismarck, Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen having the most advanced systems.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Steve Crandell » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:17 pm

USN ships eventually had full RPC, not just elevation.

Stabilization is different and does not imply RPC. If you want to call RPC stabilization, fine. It's not worth arguing about, but please don't pretend that only German ships had RPC.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by alecsandros » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:34 pm

Steve Crandell wrote:USN ships eventually had full RPC, not just elevation.

Stabilization is different and does not imply RPC. If you want to call RPC stabilization, fine. It's not worth arguing about, but please don't pretend that only German ships had RPC.
... Depending on the definition, "stabilisation" is required for a good , functional RPC system.

Full stabilisation of a heavy turret or gun on all axes was practically impossible to do because of the rigid joint with the barbettes, required to ensure resistance against AP projectiles.

However, stabilisation on one or 2 axes was better than no stabilisation at all, IMHO.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by dunmunro » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:07 pm

Steve Crandell wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:
The 11" guns and their directors were not stabilized and they seem to have done better than the 4.1".
"Germany
28 cm/52 (11") SK C/28
Updated 02 April 2011.
This weapon was used on the famous Panzerschiffes or "Pocket Battleships" Lützow (ex-Deutschland), Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee. The turrets were fitted with RPC only for elevation. "
That is not stabilization.
By definition long range naval gunnery requires that the FC system must have access to a vertical/horizontal reference even if that is simply a telescope laid on the horizon, but even this simple system is a form of "stabilization". By 1939 most director sights on major combatants used gyros to stabilize the optics so that the FC computer was fed elevation and bearing data with roll and pitch subtracted and so, in turn, the FC computer fed true elevation and bearing data to the guns either through RPC or through a FtP system.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Dave Saxton » Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:43 pm

The AGS does need to worry about 6" hits. Historically, the British scored at least one 6" hit at a range as great as of 16km. In fact the battle turned on that specific 6" hit. The hit in question burst in, or just below, the foretop main firecontrol station and did considerable damage. It cut the cabling to the inclinometer which likely disabled the RPC, and it cut off the power supply and communications to the radar set and the large stabilized optical rangefinder above.

This hit occured only about 15 minutes into the battle. With in a few minutes AGS was laying a smoke screen and reversing course. It would take a considerable time to finally attain disengagement, but the AGS fighting capability had been hurt and it made it questionable if it could now fight its way out of this mess.

There is a sharp constrast to how well AGS was fighting before this hit and after this hit. In only six minutes of combat AGS had badly mauled the Exeter, and switching its 11" fire to the light cruisers it began straddling right off the bat. Without that 6" hit the AGS was well on its way to destroying the British battle group in detail.
As Graf Spee's straddles obtained late in the action, at ranges of 22-23km, showed clearly that she was still fully funcitonal and her gunnery was still impressive.
This indicates that even with the foretop damage the AGS was capable of accurate fire. Perhaps its foretop was restored to partial or full capability by then? With the foretop radar able to supply very precise range data it could have repeated the perfomance of the early stage of the battle. According to German documentation, the opening salvo of the battle at 0617 hours was fired at a range of 20,600 meters or 22,500 yards (radar ranged). From British descriptions of the opening salvos it appears that it fired a 400 meter bracket: the first salvo just short, the next just over, and the third staddling-producing at hit. The AGS then hit the Exeter several times in the next six minutes.

This relatively long range capability from its 11" artillery creates a bit of a problem for British cruisers: The AGS's effective battle range far outstrips their cruiser caliber armament, and closing range is almost suicidal-as long as AGS's firecontrol is still functional.
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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by alecsandros » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:34 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:T
There is a sharp constrast to how well AGS was fighting before this hit and after this hit. In only six minutes of combat AGS had badly mauled the Exeter, and switching its 11" fire to the light cruisers it began straddling right off the bat. Without that 6" hit the AGS was well on its way to destroying the British battle group in detail.
This is exactly what I was thinking,
AGS scored 6 times versus Exeter in 16 minutes (6:18 - 6:34), and 6 more times against Exeter, Ajax, Achilles in little over 1 hour. With her main director systems in good working order, and more caution from Langsdorff, the battle could easily have turned out to be a carnage for all 3 British cruisers. In fact, this is exactly what Captain Edward Parry of the HMS Achilles thought:

"To this day I do not know why the Admiral Graf Spee did not dispose of us in the Ajax and the Achilles as soon as she had finished with the Exeter"

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Steve Crandell » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:08 am

I find myself wondering (not for the first time) why if this ship was so superior to a CA all of the other nations didn't emulate her, and why the German CAs were built, since they were obviously inferior.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Matrose71 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:16 am

Because of the Versaille treaty, Washington naval treaty and the anglo german naval treaty at 1935.

The germans weren't allowed to the Washington naval treaty but were allowed to replace their old pre dreadnoughts, to the rules of the Versaille Treaty, which means 10000ts and no caliber rule. So with not signing the Washington naval treaty, they could develop a cruiser with large caliber guns. Other nations couldn't do this, because they have signed the Washington naval treaty, with the rule cruiser (CA) had to be 10000ts with only 8 inch guns.

Later the german Panzerschiffe were rated after the anglo german naval treaty as battelship tonnage, so Germany had no more interest after the anglo german naval agreement to built large caliber cruisers, which were rated as battleship tonnage. They were allowed to built 70000ts "Washington cruiser" (10000ts and 8 inch guns) tonnage after the anglo german naval treaty 1935 and began to built the Hippers with 8 inch guns.

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What was Langsdorff hoping ?

Post by alecsandros » Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:20 pm

Dave Saxton wrote: This relatively long range capability from its 11" artillery creates a bit of a problem for British cruisers: The AGS's effective battle range far outstrips their cruiser caliber armament, and closing range is almost suicidal-as long as AGS's firecontrol is still functional.
... Reading through Langsdorff correspondence in Montevideo, the following question arises:
- Why did he go to Montevideo and ask for a repair time of 15 days ?

It is a simple question. Surely, with his experience, he must have known that in 15 days the entire estuary exit would be blocked with Royal Navy ships. In 15 days, the British could bring battleships all the way from Scapa Flow :shock:

It is apparent that he hoped for some U-Boats to come to his assistance in the area, but either he was over confindent over the capabilities of the Uboats of Dec 1939 (Uruguay is far, far away from their normal operating areas, and they would have required several resupply ships to be positioned along the way, both for the route TO Montevideo , as well as for the route FROM Montevideo) or maybe he was hoping for something else ?

Could it be that he would wait for some days of poor weather/visiblity/fog, and try to slip past his rivals undetected ? Would the climate of the area allow for something like this ?

Otherwise, I can't see any meaning to his decision to head for Uruguay for 15 days while Ajax/Achilles were shadowing him.

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Re: Graf Spee trying to escape back to Germany...

Post by Steve Crandell » Sat Sep 13, 2014 3:23 pm

Matrose71 wrote:Because of the Versaille treaty, Washington naval treaty and the anglo german naval treaty at 1935.

The germans weren't allowed to the Washington naval treaty but were allowed to replace their old pre dreadnoughts, to the rules of the Versaille Treaty, which means 10000ts and no caliber rule. So with not signing the Washington naval treaty, they could develop a cruiser with large caliber guns. Other nations couldn't do this, because they have signed the Washington naval treaty, with the rule cruiser (CA) had to be 10000ts with only 8 inch guns.

Later the german Panzerschiffe were rated after the anglo german naval treaty as battelship tonnage, so Germany had no more interest after the anglo german naval agreement to built large caliber cruisers, which were rated as battleship tonnage. They were allowed to built 70000ts "Washington cruiser" (10000ts and 8 inch guns) tonnage after the anglo german naval treaty 1935 and began to built the Hippers with 8 inch guns.
OK, thanks. That makes sense. The Germans got away with building a "cruiser" that was superior to all others, and the treaty made it impossible to build similar ships.

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