A ship history : Tirpitz

From the Washington Naval Treaty to the end of the Second World War.
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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:14 am

Hello Steve,

YES, I agree with you.

More, ... some years ago I have had the chance to speak for one day with Dr. H. Hellendorn.

This gentleman has been in the unique position of being Officer on both Bismarck and Tirpitz, and it was the Officer responsible for A/A on Tirpitz.

He was not on board Bismarck sailing for Op. Rheinubung because he was called into a class for the 40 mm Bofors. Later he became the A/A responsible on Tirpitz.

Nicely talking on his home in Germany for an entire day about the Tirpitz, we exchanged some opinions about the A/A capabilities of his warship.

He did not have a positive opinion about 2 things :

1 ) Too many different weapons for A/A fire : 20 mm single, 20 mm vierlings, 37 mm, 105 mm. Some were very old guns design ( the 37 mm ) and Tirpitz unfortunately never had on board the 40 mm Bofors. Too much training to be done on the sailors using them especially when many were killed in action ( during Op. Tungsten he lost 120 of them ).

2) Only 2 target possible to be followed each side of the ship ( so a total of only 4 airplanes could be followed and targeted simultaneously ), and with more than 40 airplanes attacking you than on the same time you do not have many chances to defend efficiently yourself.

His opinion was that having only 40 mm Bofors all over and some 20 mm vierlings with own rangefinders ( like some destroyers and Scharnhorst had on board ) was going to be the best solution for Tirpitz, ... a lot more targets possible to be targeted simultaneously ... together with the 127 mm secondary able to A/A firing ... but it never happened even if planned.

Gneisenau if refitted was planned like this as well.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Dave Saxton
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:49 pm

Antonio, do you have Schamalenbach's die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie? It goes into some detail about the flak firecontrol innovations.

Tirpitz had SL8 flak directors the same as Prinz Eugen. Scharnhorst and Hipper had the older SL6. The main difference was correction for parallax. Bismarck was to have SL8s but they were not fully developed and had not obtained their intended capabilities by May 41. On SH and GU parralax was corrected for targets aft but not for targets forward if I'm reading it correctly. Bismarck had SL8s but they were not fully developed and had not obtained their intended capabilities by May 41.

For the H-class and for refits a new system was planned. By 1942 the H class plan was superceded or to be intergrated with the highly advanced M42 directors being developed for Euklid. M42 was to also supersede or be intergrated with the SL2 (on Luetzow),SL4 (on Scheer), SL6, and SL8 directors. One of the main draw backs for the SL8 was its weight of 5 metric tons each. M42 was light weight. TP was refitted with one M42 by early 44.
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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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:20 pm

Hello everybody,

@ Dave Saxton,

no, I do not have that book and I will try to find it even if I cannot read German ... so I have to rely on friends about it always :oops: .

You are right anyway ... but I know you are a very good expert about those stuffs .... better than me ... you study them in full details ... I do not .... :wink:

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Dave Saxton
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:47 pm

Well I hardly consider myself an expert. :oops: There are many more knowlegable than myself on such matters here. I have Schmalenbach's book but then there is the language difficulty as well. Tommy can better utilize it and he knows more than most.

They way I understand it, the primary problem for the Germans was indeed the old 37mm weapon they were saddled with. German 20mm weapons were superior in every way to Oerlikons, and the heavy flak could more or less match the heavy flak on Allied battleships, but the 37mm was inferior to 40mm Bofers. The Germans themselves recognized this, as they planned on utilizing the Bofers themselves. Hence your contact was being sent to school.

The number of aircraft that can be engaged by heavy flak at any one time is a function of how many directors are available. On this parameter Tirpitz is no different from any other contemporay battleship. If I understand things correctly, initial target acquisition and target designation was done by the ZAGs. There were 4 at the foretop and three aft. Once a target was designated, range, bearing, and elevation data for the target were transmitted to the Flak fire control computor and the heavy flak was laid via RPC. The German system was rather flexable in that the system could receive targeting data from a variety of sources. The surface optics, night optics, radars, the ZAGs ..ect.. could all input, but to develop a full solution to aircraft targets not only are a range and bearing required but also an elevation. This means the number of spherical Flak directors and/or the ZAGs limited the number of targets that could be engaged at any one time by the heavy flak.

According to Whitley a firing solution was also developed in parallel with the heavy flak for the 37mm. The advantage was that the greater accuracy helped compensate for the low ROF. The disadvantage was that the 37mm battery usually engaged the same limited targets as the heavy flak. On Prinz Eugen and Tirpitz this was eliminated or made optional and the middle flak battery made more autominous.

The Americans had great advantage for utilizing Bofers by virtue of a computing individual optical gun sight designed by Stark Draper of MIT. And 40mm weapons would prove to be of up most importance during WWII.

Please correct me if I'm wrong anybody.
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.

Steve Crandell
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Steve Crandell » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:42 am

Dave Saxton wrote:Please correct me if I'm wrong anybody.
Makes sense to me.

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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by frontkampfer » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:35 am

Dave,

Great post! I am very interested in German naval FC of all types, but I've just about forgotten all my meger ability in German. Are there any English translations on this subject?
"I will not have my ship shot out from under my ass!"

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:09 pm

hello everybody,

I think it is interesting to read the German forum members opinion about our book on Tirpitz.

It is surely an high level evaluation from experts :

http://www.forum-marinearchiv.de/smf/in ... n.html#new

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:02 am

frontkampfer wrote:Dave,

Great post! I am very interested in German naval FC of all types, but I've just about forgotten all my meger ability in German. Are there any English translations on this subject?
A soviet report from 1964 but lot of the technology described is german

Accession Number : AD0607565
Title : NAVAL AIR DEFENSE OF SHIPS
Corporate Author : FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY DIV WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Personal Author(s) : Morosow, K. V.
Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=AD0607565
Report Date : 20 OCT 1964
Pagination or Media Count : 108
Abstract : Contents: Deployment of air-combat facilities against naval targets; anti-aircraft artillery (anti-aircraft weapons, ammunitions, fire-control equipment, firing preparation); anti-aircraft rockets; combat experience in utilization of aerial combat facilities; organization of air defense aboard combat vessels under conditions of modern warfare.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:40 pm

Gentlemen,
Just watched a TV program on the raid by Lancasters from 9 and 617 squadron on Tirpitz, some of the air crew stated that she was firing her 15" at them, they were at 15000 feet - would that be possible?

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Dave Saxton
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:51 pm

Tirpitz did use the 15" in barrage fire during air attacks. An unexploded 15" AA shell was found 42km from the anchorage about 15 years ago as well.

Yamato and Musashi fired AA munitions from their 18" batteries.
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: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by alecsandros » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:13 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Tirpitz did use the 15" in barrage fire during air attacks. An unexploded 15" AA shell was found 42km from the anchorage about 15 years ago as well.

Yamato and Musashi fired AA munitions from their 18" batteries.
What was it doing 42km away ? :D

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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by jabeque » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:53 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Tirpitz did use the 15" in barrage fire during air attacks. An unexploded 15" AA shell was found 42km from the anchorage about 15 years ago as well.

Yamato and Musashi fired AA munitions from their 18" batteries.
This is my first post.

Hello everyone

Surely I can not contribute much.

I have two questions to Dave

. 1 - When will we see one book about your german radar research ? I buy it without seeing
. 2 - Is the distance correct? How is it possible?

Regards

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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:57 am

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
frontkampfer wrote:Dave,

Great post! I am very interested in German naval FC of all types, but I've just about forgotten all my meger ability in German. Are there any English translations on this subject?
A soviet report from 1964 but lot of the technology described is german

Accession Number : AD0607565
Title : NAVAL AIR DEFENSE OF SHIPS
Corporate Author : FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY DIV WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Personal Author(s) : Morosow, K. V.
Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=AD0607565
Report Date : 20 OCT 1964
Pagination or Media Count : 108
Abstract : Contents: Deployment of air-combat facilities against naval targets; anti-aircraft artillery (anti-aircraft weapons, ammunitions, fire-control equipment, firing preparation); anti-aircraft rockets; combat experience in utilization of aerial combat facilities; organization of air defense aboard combat vessels under conditions of modern warfare.

Thorsten - Judging from some of the drawings, I suspect that this report is actually an English translation of a Russian translation of an original German report!

Byron

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Antonio Bonomi
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:27 pm

Hello everybody,

here for you my models with all Tirpitz full life evolutions.
Dscn2849.jpg
Dscn2849.jpg (77.42 KiB) Viewed 1856 times
Dscn2854.jpg
Dscn2854.jpg (87.55 KiB) Viewed 1856 times
than you can find the full details on the first 2 ( commissioning and May 5th, 1941, ... plus the " Read Brick House camouflage ) here in :

http://bismarck-tirpitz.com/

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

paul.mercer
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Re: A ship history : Tirpitz

Post by paul.mercer » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:16 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:Tirpitz did use the 15" in barrage fire during air attacks. An unexploded 15" AA shell was found 42km from the anchorage about 15 years ago as well.

Yamato and Musashi fired AA munitions from their 18" batteries.
What was it doing 42km away ? :D
Would it be because the shell was considerably lighter than a normal AP or HE shell but had the same charge behind it and therfore travelled further?

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