Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:44 am

Why not any battle range?
Because its impossible to provide protection at any battle range. Therefore, they have protection schemes to provide protection at certain battle ranges and not at all battle ranges. If battleships are designed to fight other battleships they should -if possible- fight at the battle range they are designed to fight. Failure to do so risks being sunk by the oppossing battleship in just a few minutes. In the case of the Rodney it had a strict all or nothing protection scheme. All or Nothing is only viable at certain ranges. For example, between 20,000 yards and 27,000 yards against certain guns. Out side of this zone of protection it ceased to be a battleship and becomes a lightly clad battle cruiser.
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: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by RF » Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:05 am

Ersatz Yorck wrote: [But HX 84 was approached by Scheer in the evening, not morning, so I fail to see the comparison. And both Hipper and Scheer had scout aircraft as well, so how does that change things?
The difference is in the hours of available daylight available for attack. Bismarck had more aircraft than Scheer or Hipper.
Yes, Bismarck has far more hitting power than Scheer or Hipper, and that will of course be an advantage, but I am not sure it will be all that decisive when trying to chase down merchants fleing in all directions. And Scheer and Hipper have something Bismarck lacks - torpedoes. Hipper used torpedoes to sink some of the merchants in SLS 64.
Bismarck would not be held up by having to keep the escort AMC at long range to avoid damage from its popguns, but would charge straight in and sink it quickly before the merchant ships could get a head start on scattering (which amounted to about two hours)

And with an average merchant size of 5000 tons, 20 ships will not make 200,000 tons anyway.
Read again. The first targets in a convoy just starting to scatter would be the biggest merchant ships, some of them well over 10,000 tons. Start with the largest and work down, with two sets of guns to do it. Torpedoes would not be required, in any case they are expensive and only reliably effective at very short range.
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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by delcyros » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:04 am

The idea that a certain warship can be sunk in a given timeframe represents a concept, which was disprooven by various accounts in combat. I am suprised to see such an idea popping up in this thread without beeing critically reflected upon.
While a BB may take damage from gunfire at the conditions detailed here, one has to admit that they are in part designed to combat- or at least mediate the effects of penetrating hits, safe a catastrophic magazine detonation, whiches probability is not to be expressed in minutes. BBs have subdivision, pumping and firefighting equipment and competently large damage controll crews. At the very least RODNEY may isolate flooding and thus needs to be reduced by multiple waterplane hits. How much time this takes depends on the rules of engagement, difficult enough to assess but almost impossible to predict unless framed by very specific preconditions. One may be able to work out a probability model to quantify this but then again, BB vs BB is not a quantitative but an individual event.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:22 am

delcyros wrote:... BB vs BB is not a quantitative but an individual event.
Indeed.

However, all BBs/BCs which were sunk by gunfire in WW2 went to the bottom in a few minutes (Hood, Bretagne). THe possible exception - Kirishima - was beyond salvation at the point Washington stoped fire.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by alecsandros » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:26 am

At the given ranges, Rodney's protection is not proof against 38cm gunfire, and various trajectories can be drawn to the shell rooms/powder magazines, especialy as German shells showed remakably well underwater performance [though not in a fit-to-burst state] and Rodney's main belt was 3.6m high (covering about 1.8m below the surface at standard displacement)

Thus, it would be a matter of geometry of the battle and probabilties.

And , with both ships on parrallel courses and range 20km, my probability estimate is that about 1 shell/minute would hit the Rodney.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by paul.mercer » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:24 pm

alecsandros wrote:At the given ranges, Rodney's protection is not proof against 38cm gunfire, and various trajectories can be drawn to the shell rooms/powder magazines, especialy as German shells showed remakably well underwater performance [though not in a fit-to-burst state] and Rodney's main belt was 3.6m high (covering about 1.8m below the surface at standard displacement)

Thus, it would be a matter of geometry of the battle and probabilties.

And , with both ships on parrallel courses and range 20km, my probability estimate is that about 1 shell/minute would hit the Rodney.
If, as Dave Sexton suggests, Rodneys protection was 20-27000yards then she would be within her protection zone and would be very capable of hitting Bismarck at that range also.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:15 am

paul.mercer wrote:If, as Dave Sexton suggests, Rodneys protection was 20-27000yards then she would be within her protection zone and would be very capable of hitting Bismarck at that range also.
... The protective scheme built in the 20s couldn't anticipate the advances in artillery a decade later.
Bismarck's artillery had more penetrating power than Rodney's at ranges up to 18km, allthough it had a smaller caliber. Performance of 38cm shells at various obliquities was also substantialy better than that of the 16" MK1B.

Also, when designing the Rodney's , there was little to no evidence of underwater hits, so the belt was very shallow.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by Byron Angel » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:14 am

alecsandros wrote:
Also, when designing the Rodney's , there was little to no evidence of underwater hits, so the belt was very shallow.

..... Untrue. The portion of Rodney's belt beneath her waterline may have been relatively shallow, but it was not because her designers were ignorant or dismissive of the risk of underwater hits. Both Lion and Warspite suffered noteworthy underwater hits in WW1. The more likely cause was the fact the Rodney was designed to the 35,000t treaty tonnage limit.

Byron

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:31 am

Byron Angel wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
Also, when designing the Rodney's , there was little to no evidence of underwater hits, so the belt was very shallow.

..... Untrue. The portion of Rodney's belt beneath her waterline may have been relatively shallow, but it was not because her designers were ignorant or dismissive of the risk of underwater hits. Both Lion and Warspite suffered noteworthy underwater hits in WW1. The more likely cause was the fact the Rodney was designed to the 35,000t treaty tonnage limit.

Byron
Hello Byron,
Nice to see you around :)

If the design would have accounted for uw hits, at least a thinner portion of the armor belt would extend deeper down.

KGV was also within treaty limits, but had extensive underwater belt...

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:52 pm

alecsandros wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:
Bismarck's artillery had more penetrating power than Rodney's at ranges up to 18km, allthough it had a smaller caliber. Performance of 38cm shells at various obliquities was also substantialy better than that of the 16" MK1B.
What's your source that the 38cm had better penetration than the RN 16in Mk 1? I can't find any evidence of that.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:40 pm

dunmunro wrote:
What's your source that the 38cm had better penetration than the RN 16in Mk 1? I can't find any evidence of that.
http://www.kbismarck.com/38cm.html
20km = 412mm KC n/A, projectile in fit state to burst.

I'm sure you know just as well as I the performance of the 16"/L45 firing the Mark1B projectile at 2575fps at 22000 yards ?

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:11 pm

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
What's your source that the 38cm had better penetration than the RN 16in Mk 1? I can't find any evidence of that.
http://www.kbismarck.com/38cm.html
20km = 412mm KC n/A, projectile in fit state to burst.

I'm sure you know just as well as I the performance of the 16"/L45 firing the Mark1B projectile at 2575fps at 22000 yards ?


I know what NAaB and Facehard state, and they indicate the 16in Mk1b is slightly superior to the KM 38cm. I haven't seen sufficient trials AP test data on the 16in Mk1B to either confirm or dispute the NAaB data, but I would be quite surprised if the 16in Mk1B was inferior to the KM 38cm.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by alecsandros » Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:42 am

dunmunro wrote: I know what NAaB and Facehard state, and they indicate the 16in Mk1b is slightly superior to the KM 38cm. I haven't seen sufficient trials AP test data on the 16in Mk1B to either confirm or dispute the NAaB data, but I would be quite surprised if the 16in Mk1B was inferior to the KM 38cm.
Unfortunately, we don't have direct, real comparative trials of the 2.
NaaB and FaceHard do not fit the GKDOS curves for many points and obliquities. They can best be used for approximation of US Navy's guns and armors (but even there , they are not infaillible)...

I've seen some info about the MarkIB performance in Nathan's papers; there were problems with plate quality variance, and thus perforation limit varied somewhat. Also, most of the testing of the markIB was done in the late 1920s, on British CA plates of the time. They were probably somewhat less resistant to perforation than the 1930s ones.

All in all, the 38cm shell has greater impact velocity , and considering also the quality of the perforating cap [Brinell hardness at the nose, gradient and method of attachment to the body], I would expect to perform better than the 406mm shell fired at 785m/s (Mark I rifling).

[But with the MarkII riflings, at 797 m/s, the 16" shell's perforation would probably at least as good, if not better at normal obliquity at least]

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by kevin32422 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:02 am

To me it would come to who landed the first big hit if you are going by the actual battle were they met both had disadvantages but a undamaged Bismarck vs a undamaged Rodney a give a slight edge to the Bismarck. Bismarck had quicker firing guns, more speed, and could find the "range" quicker. all the Rodney had was bigger guns and was better protected in some areas of the ship.

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Re: Bismarck vs. Rodney: hand to hand?

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:26 am

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote: I know what NAaB and Facehard state, and they indicate the 16in Mk1b is slightly superior to the KM 38cm. I haven't seen sufficient trials AP test data on the 16in Mk1B to either confirm or dispute the NAaB data, but I would be quite surprised if the 16in Mk1B was inferior to the KM 38cm.
Unfortunately, we don't have direct, real comparative trials of the 2.
NaaB and FaceHard do not fit the GKDOS curves for many points and obliquities. They can best be used for approximation of US Navy's guns and armors (but even there , they are not infaillible)...

I've seen some info about the MarkIB performance in Nathan's papers; there were problems with plate quality variance, and thus perforation limit varied somewhat. Also, most of the testing of the markIB was done in the late 1920s, on British CA plates of the time. They were probably somewhat less resistant to perforation than the 1930s ones.

All in all, the 38cm shell has greater impact velocity , and considering also the quality of the perforating cap [Brinell hardness at the nose, gradient and method of attachment to the body], I would expect to perform better than the 406mm shell fired at 785m/s (Mark I rifling).

[But with the MarkII riflings, at 797 m/s, the 16" shell's perforation would probably at least as good, if not better at normal obliquity at least]
NaAB does a pretty good job at matching the GKDOS 38cm AP curve up to ~35 deg obliquity.

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