Re arming the Twins

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paul.mercer
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Re arming the Twins

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:50 pm

Gentlemen,
I believe that it was planned to fit the Twins with 15" armament, would this have been practical as it would seem that the whole ship would have had to be redesigned to cope with the larger guns, shells, cordite, hoists turrets etc, making it a very long and expensive operation? Had been done, I think they only were to have 6x15" would they have been a match for the KGV class or even Rodney or Nelson?

alecsandros
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Re: Re arming the Twins

Post by alecsandros » Mon Jan 09, 2012 7:46 am

I remember the rearming of Gneisenau was estimated to take 30.000 man-hours. With the resources available at Kiel, the GErmans estimated about 2 years for the re-armament, mainly because of the new guns.

Had them been built from the start with 6 x 15" guns, my impression is they would have been much more formidable, because they were anyway very fast (31-32kts), and very well armored.
I don't think they would be capable of tackling KGV/Nelson, but could have engaged with good chances of success any battlecruiser (Repulse, Alaska, Dunkerque, and even HOod)

delcyros
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Re: Re arming the Twins

Post by delcyros » Mon Jan 09, 2012 9:38 pm

Altough the twins were initially hoped for beeing armed with heavier guns. the 283mm gun was choosen, albeit a newer, longer and higher velocity model, in part caused by politically motivated thoughts.
By 1935, when plans were finalised, there may have been the fitter-for-but-not-yet idea circulating. That means the triple´s may have to be replaced by twins of a heavier calibre in a future time. But by this period, I am not sure that the 38cm was in those people´s mind, the BISMARCK class was initially designed for 35cm naval rifles and 35cm twin turret´s would much better fit the Twins than 38cm, which eventually may have been made fit but only after lengthy modifications and a new turret design beeing worked out.

As it turned out, GNEISENAU would greatly have benefitted from the 38cm and associated modifications. The hull was lengthened in the foreship, increasing lift of the hull and consequently making the ship dryer in heavy seas. I guess the top speed may also have benefitted from the better length to beam ratio in one way or another.

Foggy
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Re: Re arming the Twins

Post by Foggy » Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:15 pm

As I understand it, initially these two ships were to be simply improved Panzerschiffe, for which the improved 283mm guns in the triple turrets were already on order. When it was decided to expand them into battleships, the 283mm turrets were already "in the mill" while the 15" guns and turrets would need design time. That practicality, combined with the political desire not to antagonize the British, determined their gun size.
-- Wayne

Paul L
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Re: Re arming the Twins

Post by Paul L » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:42 am

The 35cm gun was the default battleship gun until Raeder had a meeting with Hitler in late 1934 and forwarded the notion of a 38cm gun for the Battleships to counter the French BB Richelieu , which Hitler seems to have bought into. Up until that time the default gun for the Panzerschiffe was the 28cm L52.5 gun. The longer heavier 28cm L54.5 design was only just begun in 1934 and would not be read for 4 years.

So all designs from 1932-1935 started with the SKC 28 283mm gun. During the exploration of the Panzerschiffe to BB effort , the view shifted to 33cm guns as a counter to the French 33cm guns and later to a turret designed to start with triple 28cm guns but be converted to twin 35cm guns at a later date. This suggests that the 35cm gun could be adopted with a turret refit and not with the massive overhaul that the Gneisenau was to subject to.

BTW according to G&D the conversion of the Gneisenau would have taken something like 120,000 man days to complete based on a work force of 300. That sounds like 400 work days or about 67 weeks [~16 months]. The planned conversion time was reported to be a year which is possible since the work crew could be expanded to 500 if needed. To give a comparison a Type VII C U-boat at that time [1943] required about 5-6000 man days to complete. But as we know it all came to not when Hitler ordered the scrapping of all warships of Kreuzers size or larger.

With that in mind it’s likely any planned conversion of the triple 11”guns to twin 14” guns could have been done as part of a major refit program for each warship.

Does anyone know what was to be done with the barbettes? Were they big enough to be converted to handle the supply of shells for two 15” guns?
"Eine mal is kein mal"

delcyros
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Re: Re arming the Twins

Post by delcyros » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:35 pm

The barbettes had enough diamater but new turrets had to be designed for proper ammunition handling in the more confined spaces below.

Paul L
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Re: Re arming the Twins

Post by Paul L » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:34 am

delcyros wrote:The barbettes had enough diamater but new turrets had to be designed for proper ammunition handling in the more confined spaces below.

Are you refering to the twin 383mm gun turrets
"Eine mal is kein mal"

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