Updating the KGV class

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dunmunro
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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by dunmunro » Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:51 pm

wadinga wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 5:35 pm
Fellow Contributors,

Off topic but I think relevant. The politicians of Britain and France had seen a generation of their young men slaughtered and desperately tried to stop it happening again via maintenance of Treaty. The warlords managed to sleepwalk/ cajole / con their populations into embracing disaster again, and lied about the displacement of the ships they did build. As Dunmunro pointed out, when all hope of staving things off disappeared, it was important to get the KG Vs into action ASAP. KG V and PoW were in the water and operational in early 1941, not a piles of ironmongery on a slipways somewhere, completion constantly being deferred, while resources were switched to the desperate short term need for escorts. Hence they were worth building.

The delayed start on the North Carolinas (and other hold-ups) gave them 16" guns, but they were not available as fast-ish escorts at Midway, only getting into action in August 1942.

Tovey put Bismarck under with as little risk to his men's lives as possible, and that meant getting Rodney in on the act. More speed on his own would have meant less fuel to complete the destruction and there was barely enough as it was.

Come on Duncan, does Friedman not give any clues as to whether the North Carolinas were 16" gun ships all along?

All the best

wadinga
From Friedman:
Although the General Board pressed for the 16-
inch gun on 29 March 1937, the secretary of the navy
did not approve this recommendation until 15 July,
and orders were not actually given to the yards until
after the keel of the first ship, the North Carolina,
had been laid. Similarly, studies of a follow-on class,
which became the South Dakota, showed 14-inch guns
as late as July 1937.
So it seems very likely that the USN quad 14in had to have been designed and was going to be built, as it would not have been possible for the USN GB to have determined in advance what the final decision was going to be.

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun Apr 05, 2020 8:39 pm

BobDonnald wrote:
Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:57 am
None of the 35,000 ton treaty battleships were worth building in view of the international arms race in the late 1930s. The Japanese were expected to build 16 inch/46,000 ton ships to complement the Nagato class. The Italians already built 15 inch/40,000 ton ships. Then the Bismarck 15 inch/44,000 ton ships clearly sized to rival the Hood. How good did the on the spot commanders rate them? Seems Adm Tovey slowed to wait on the Rodney to assure the outcome. What happens at Samar if Halsey leaves the 4 35,000 tonnes to face Yamato and company? Washington was the flagship and so faces Yamato alone. Poor old Adm Lee gets to go down with her instead of a heart attack in 1945.

Nothing less than a 45,000 ton North Carolina or a 45,000 ton KGV should have been contemplated. The gun escalation clause was already there and the tonnage went to 45,000 in a year's time. I guess democratic governments can't make those types of decisions in real time.

Groan!
RS
I kind of agree with that thinking. Nonetheless, we have to put ourselves into the mind set of the 1930s, when there was the Great Depression unabated, and the terrible destruction of WW1 was still a fresh memory. Remember, the Washington Treaty and its renewals was seen as a stabilizing force preventing nations such as Germany, who had already abrogated Versailles, from casting aside any restraint. Although Germany was not party to the Washington Treaty they did build the Scharnhorst's with 11" guns so as to avoid antagonizing further the British and French. Had the British conceded that the Treaties were no longer relevant by laying down (perhaps only 2 or 3) 45,000 ton battleships with 16" guns, who is to say that the Germans would not have taken that as a signal they didn't need to tread so lightly. Maybe they would have laid down 4 Bismarcks with 16" guns. Or gone straight to building six H classes and 500 new design U-boats.

The 14" gun caliber limit if it went into effect, or partially, also could delay the increasing obsolescence of the existing Anglo/American battle fleets. I have long thought that reconstructing older ships was folly. Just replace them with new construction. But that would have been a tough sell during the Great Depression.

It may have been worth adhering to the 35K tons limitation and 14" guns because they were able to build a 35k design that had a viable IZ vs 16" and the difference in performance between modern 14", 15", and 16" guns was marginal, anyway.
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: Updating the KGV class

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:35 am

Having started the ball rolling, I thought you might have spotted this already:
Thanks Wadinga, i must have missed this one!
Re Dave's statement that the difference between 14/15/16" guns was marginal, i know this is going a bit off topic but it has been claimed that Bismarck's main armour was not penetrated by either the 14 or 16" shells (although I don't think anyone cane really prove it one way or another) if this was really the case it does seem that going back to another topic of 'Shell v Armour, who won' that the armour argument was finally capable to withstand almost any type of shell, so perhaps the 14" on the KG's was not such a bad idea after all as in theory multiple hits from 10 x14" would still be capable of putting another ship of equal power out of action by shredding the upperworks,radar, fire control etc without actually having to penetrate the hull armour. Although I have to say that I would not like to stand behind any armour and be fired at by heavy calibre shells even though the makers claimed it was safe to do so, - there's always a chance that one might get through!

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by BobDonnald » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:35 pm

The obsolescence of the British and American battle fleets was driven by foreign developments of more powerful ships and aircraft. Hood's armor is good against Scharnhorst's 11 inch guns but overmatched by the Bismarck's 15 inch guns. I can't see how building 14 inch KGV's and NC's makes the Yamato, Bismarck, and Vittorio Veneto less of a problem.

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by dunmunro » Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:51 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:35 am
Having started the ball rolling, I thought you might have spotted this already:
Thanks Wadinga, i must have missed this one!
Re Dave's statement that the difference between 14/15/16" guns was marginal, i know this is going a bit off topic but it has been claimed that Bismarck's main armour was not penetrated by either the 14 or 16" shells (although I don't think anyone cane really prove it one way or another) if this was really the case it does seem that going back to another topic of 'Shell v Armour, who won' that the armour argument was finally capable to withstand almost any type of shell, so perhaps the 14" on the KG's was not such a bad idea after all as in theory multiple hits from 10 x14" would still be capable of putting another ship of equal power out of action by shredding the upperworks,radar, fire control etc without actually having to penetrate the hull armour. Although I have to say that I would not like to stand behind any armour and be fired at by heavy calibre shells even though the makers claimed it was safe to do so, - there's always a chance that one might get through!
This makes for interesting reading:

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by Dave Saxton » Mon Apr 06, 2020 9:44 pm

BobDonnald wrote:
Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:35 pm
The obsolescence of the British and American battle fleets was driven by foreign developments of more powerful ships and aircraft. Hood's armor is good against Scharnhorst's 11 inch guns but overmatched by the Bismarck's 15 inch guns. I can't see how building 14 inch KGV's and NC's makes the Yamato, Bismarck, and Vittorio Veneto less of a problem.
Fair point in the case of NC as its IZ was vs 14"/50. However, in the case of KGV it has a viable IZ vs 16". Your not gaining much capability by installing the marginal improvement of 14" to 16" against a Bismarck, VV, or Yamato, because those ships had viable IZ vs 16" as well. The problem presented by more powerful new construction is defensive qualities rather than offensive capabilities.
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: Updating the KGV class

Post by paul.mercer » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:13 am

Thanks to you both for the info, it makes interesting reading.
I'm sorry that I have strayed way off topic here,perhaps it should go back to the 'Shell v Armour topic. But as we are here, I'm not sure at what range these tests were carried out, presumably as they were only aiming at a small piece of plate the range would have been very close, so would it be correct to assume that at 'battle' ranges the shell would have lost a lot of its velocity and may not penetrate very far - if at all. Also, would the impact of a shell on armour have the same effect as some on a tank with bits of metal coming off the other side of the impact or possibly cause a concussion effect on the people inside?

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:11 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:13 am
Thanks to you both for the info, it makes interesting reading.
I'm sorry that I have strayed way off topic here,perhaps it should go back to the 'Shell v Armour topic. But as we are here, I'm not sure at what range these tests were carried out, presumably as they were only aiming at a small piece of plate the range would have been very close, so would it be correct to assume that at 'battle' ranges the shell would have lost a lot of its velocity and may not penetrate very far - if at all. Also, would the impact of a shell on armour have the same effect as some on a tank with bits of metal coming off the other side of the impact or possibly cause a concussion effect on the people inside?
These are firing range trials trying to determine the Approx. velocity required by a 14" shell to perforate a 12.5-inch plate. The velocities would correspond to a range of about 33,000 yards.

Your correct that it translates little to a real world situation.

However, it does show the wisdom of the protection scheme chosen by the Germans. The German protection scheme was one in that the belt was backed up by heavy scarps at an unfavorable angle for the shell. The scarps meant that the velocity required to penetrate both the scarps and the belt were so high that any shell would be destroyed during the attempt. The scarps also arrested plate debris. Down load the article Heavy Armor for Warships from here: https://www.kbismarck.com/articles.html

This article is a lecture giving by a engineer during 1943.

The plate trial data posted by Duncan also shows the wisdom of the British in not trading off armour protection for a heavier gun or more guns with the KGV design. POW may not have survived Denmark St. had they done so. It also shows the wisdom of doing more than paying lip service to the 35k tons treaty limit. If the POW was a 45k design with 16-inch guns at Denmark St., Bismarck would likely have been a design more like the H-class sporting 16"/52 guns.
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: Updating the KGV class

Post by dunmunro » Tue Apr 07, 2020 6:49 pm

paul.mercer wrote:
Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:13 am
Thanks to you both for the info, it makes interesting reading.
I'm sorry that I have strayed way off topic here,perhaps it should go back to the 'Shell v Armour topic. But as we are here, I'm not sure at what range these tests were carried out, presumably as they were only aiming at a small piece of plate the range would have been very close, so would it be correct to assume that at 'battle' ranges the shell would have lost a lot of its velocity and may not penetrate very far - if at all. Also, would the impact of a shell on armour have the same effect as some on a tank with bits of metal coming off the other side of the impact or possibly cause a concussion effect on the people inside?
Basically it means that any 14in shell that struck heavy armour, at less than ~40degs inclination, on Bismarck, would penetrate that armour. There were few observed penetrations of Bismarck's belt armour because she was very low in the water after several torpedo hits and the UW hits from PoW, and this combined with the heavy seas and swell, and the close range of the action, meant that relatively few shells could reach the main belt, although many struck above it and a few struck below it. The ability of AP shells to pierce the scarp after a belt penetration was another issue, but Bismarck's turrets and barbettes were vulnerable to 14in hits at the ranges that the action was fought.

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:57 am

Re the two pages the dunmunro kindly posted, there are some curious issues hovering around cited test series.

Projectile - Shell APC, Hadfield 14-inch Mark 1 B.N.T. (weighted and plugged) – 1,595 lbs, versus - Ex-Tirpitz 12.5-inch cemented plate, sections 4 ft 6 in x 5 ft 6 in approx.: laid over a “window” cut out of a 14 inch cemented plate with a 3 inch overlap; at 30deg obliquity.

Test 1 – Striking Velocity 1,512 f/s
Perforation; plate broken into four pieces.

Test 2 – Striking velocity 1,296 f/s
Perforation; plate broken into one large plus two small plus one very small pieces.

Test 3 – Striking Velocity 1,343 f/s
Projectile broke up on plate after 4.9 inch partial penetration.

By comparison, another British test (as reported in Item 4, ATC Meeting, 22nd July 1948) versus German “520 lb” (12.5 – 13 inch) cemented plate at 30deg obliquity gives a perforation striking velocity of 1,485 f/s for the 15-inch APC Mark XVIIB – which, judging from the post-war date of the report, was probably the superior performance Cardonald projectile rather than the WW2 era Hadfield design. Curiously, the perforation velocity of 1,485 f/s in this case is ~190 f/s greater for a larger projectile of supposedly superior performance. Curious.

In the 1946 tests against the recovered Tirpitz test plates, I’m guessing the recovered plates were most likely flame-cut into the smaller sized mentioned – did the temperature of the flame cutting affect the internal structure of the plate sections?. I also wonder if the extemporized “window” backing, with only a 3-inch overlap around the perimeter of the test plate was adequate to properly support the plates. On the sole occasion that the test plate remained intact, the projectile broke up after penetrating less than half-way through the plate at a striking velocity greater than the previous projectile which was assessed as having perforated at ~50 f/s greater striking velocity. This is puzzling to me. I understand that there is, as a rule, a dire lack of sufficient empirical data to draw any really firm conclusions about armor versus projectile tests, but I cannot help but scratch my head over this particular event.

Can anyone offer some insights? Bill?


Byron

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by dunmunro » Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:33 am

Byron Angel wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:57 am
Re the two pages the dunmunro kindly posted, there are some curious issues hovering around cited test series.

Projectile - Shell APC, Hadfield 14-inch Mark 1 B.N.T. (weighted and plugged) – 1,595 lbs, versus - Ex-Tirpitz 12.5-inch cemented plate, sections 4 ft 6 in x 5 ft 6 in approx.: laid over a “window” cut out of a 14 inch cemented plate with a 3 inch overlap; at 30deg obliquity.

Test 1 – Striking Velocity 1,512 f/s
Perforation; plate broken into four pieces.

Test 2 – Striking velocity 1,296 f/s
Perforation; plate broken into one large plus two small plus one very small pieces.

Test 3 – Striking Velocity 1,343 f/s
Projectile broke up on plate after 4.9 inch partial penetration.

By comparison, another British test (as reported in Item 4, ATC Meeting, 22nd July 1948) versus German “520 lb” (12.5 – 13 inch) cemented plate at 30deg obliquity gives a perforation striking velocity of 1,485 f/s for the 15-inch APC Mark XVIIB – which, judging from the post-war date of the report, was probably the superior performance Cardonald projectile rather than the WW2 era Hadfield design. Curiously, the perforation velocity of 1,485 f/s in this case is ~190 f/s greater for a larger projectile of supposedly superior performance. Curious.

In the 1946 tests against the recovered Tirpitz test plates, I’m guessing the recovered plates were most likely flame-cut into the smaller sized mentioned – did the temperature of the flame cutting affect the internal structure of the plate sections?. I also wonder if the extemporized “window” backing, with only a 3-inch overlap around the perimeter of the test plate was adequate to properly support the plates. On the sole occasion that the test plate remained intact, the projectile broke up after penetrating less than half-way through the plate at a striking velocity greater than the previous projectile which was assessed as having perforated at ~50 f/s greater striking velocity. This is puzzling to me. I understand that there is, as a rule, a dire lack of sufficient empirical data to draw any really firm conclusions about armor versus projectile tests, but I cannot help but scratch my head over this particular event.

Can anyone offer some insights? Bill?


Byron
It's not uncommon for projectiles to breakup when the SV is less than the critical velocity needed to perforate whole. I'm pretty sure that the AP Committee was aware of edge effects, and other issues.

RN proofing trials showed that the 14in Hadfield had superior penetration to the 15in against RN 480lb plate. This led to trials tests where the lower limit of the 14in against 480lb plate was explored and it was found to be ~1460fps (as per page two, above). One consequence of this was development of the Cardonald shells, but, IIRC, Mk XVIIB shells were produced as non-Cardonald as well.

In any event, the point of this is to illustrate that the 14in shell was quite capable of penetrating any exterior armour on Bismarck at normal battle ranges.

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:47 am

Hi dunmunro,
Indeed the Mk XVIIB appellation for British 15-inch AP projectiles was found to have applied to both early war projectiles AND the new Cardonald design. It is not possible to conclusively state which projectile was used in the cited test based upon the text alone. However, given the post-war date of the test, it is not unreasonable to consider the possibility that it was Cardonald projectiles being tested.

For a good essay on the perplexing situation surrounding AP projectile manufacturing in the UK prior to and during the early part of the war and the bureaucratic struggle between the government and the (two) manufacturers of naval AP projectiles, see the article "The End of an Era", Naval Review, 1960, Volume 2. A deliciously convoluted story :angel:

> In the pre-war years, the Ordnance Board had a very dim view of the effectiveness of the navy's 15-inch projectiles aginst heavy armor at fighting ranges.

> In 1936, metallurgical examination of projectile fragments recovered after proof firings by the Ordnance Board found that "the physical qualities of the shell body were not as uniform as the makers claimed" The manufacturers denied the charge.

> In 1940, unusual numbers of 14-in projectiles for the KGV ship were found to be failing proof tests.

> In 1942, 15-inch AP projectiles were found to be failing proof tests against armor thicknesses that the 14-inch projectiles were defeating at the same striking velocities and obliquities.

> By 1943, the Heavy Shell Sub-committee abandoned efforts to work with the uncooperative private projectile manufacturers and commenced its own design program (the Cardonald project) which succeeded in producing a projectile that succeeded against plates that had defeated the projectiles of the private manufacturers, did so at both higher and lower striking velocities and at shallower angles of obliquity.

> One closing remark was, however, of interest - "...they (Cardonald) were still a long way from producing a shell which could penetrate heavy deck armor at twenty to thirty thousand yards range, i.e. at angles of descent of 15 degrees - 35 degrees."

FWIW.

Byron

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by dunmunro » Wed Apr 08, 2020 5:26 am

Byron Angel wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:47 am
Hi dunmunro,
Indeed the Mk XVIIB appellation for British 15-inch AP projectiles was found to have applied to both early war projectiles AND the new Cardonald design. It is not possible to conclusively state which projectile was used in the cited test based upon the text alone. However, given the post-war date of the test, it is not unreasonable to consider the possibility that it was Cardonald projectiles being tested.

For a good essay on the perplexing situation surrounding AP projectile manufacturing in the UK prior to and during the early part of the war and the bureaucratic struggle between the government and the (two) manufacturers of naval AP projectiles, see the article "The End of an Era", Naval Review, 1960, Volume 2. A deliciously convoluted story :angel:

> In the pre-war years, the Ordnance Board had a very dim view of the effectiveness of the navy's 15-inch projectiles aginst heavy armor at fighting ranges.

> In 1936, metallurgical examination of projectile fragments recovered after proof firings by the Ordnance Board found that "the physical qualities of the shell body were not as uniform as the makers claimed" The manufacturers denied the charge.

> In 1940, unusual numbers of 14-in projectiles for the KGV ship were found to be failing proof tests.

> In 1942, 15-inch AP projectiles were found to be failing proof tests against armor thicknesses that the 14-inch projectiles were defeating at the same striking velocities and obliquities.

> By 1943, the Heavy Shell Sub-committee abandoned efforts to work with the uncooperative private projectile manufacturers and commenced its own design program (the Cardonald project) which succeeded in producing a projectile that succeeded against plates that had defeated the projectiles of the private manufacturers, did so at both higher and lower striking velocities and at shallower angles of obliquity.

> One closing remark was, however, of interest - "...they (Cardonald) were still a long way from producing a shell which could penetrate heavy deck armor at twenty to thirty thousand yards range, i.e. at angles of descent of 15 degrees - 35 degrees."

FWIW.

Byron
Unfortunately the Naval Review has made their archive of back issues inaccessible, after over a decade of public access.

There were two competing shell firms, Hadfield, and Firth-Brown. It was shown via proofing trials that Hadfield produced a very efficient 14in AP round, and a poor 15in, while F-B produced a poor 14in and a middling 15in. IIRC, F-B ceased production of 14in AP in ~1940, and very few, if any, of their shells ended up on KGV class ships. During dozens of proofing tests after July 1939 no Hadfield 14in failed against 12in plate, except for a test where the lower limit of the shell was explored. The F-B 15in round was not as efficient as the Cardonald 15in but it wasn't that bad, that the Cardonald round was warranted, IMHO, and the RN really had better things to spend their money on.
One closing remark was, however, of interest - "...they (Cardonald) were still a long way from producing a shell which could penetrate heavy deck armor at twenty to thirty thousand yards range, i.e. at angles of descent of 15 degrees - 35 degrees."
Angles of descent of 15 degrees - 35 degrees implies total obliquity of 75-55 degrees, which is why all but the thinnest battleship deck armour is typically considered immune at those ranges from nearly any equivalent gun calibre.

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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by wadinga » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:46 pm

Fellow Contributors,

I think we are all agreed, based on the detailed original material above that the 14", when delivered as a well-manufactured product, was very effective. So then perhaps leaving more detailed evaluations of shells vs armour to the "Who won" thread in naval technology forum, we can concentrate on the mountings themselves. Having read an extremely interesting thread on navweaps regarding the perceived weight advantages of quad turrets, it is clear that, quoting the same information as here, the upper echelons of the US Navy commenced work on the North Carolinas expecting they might complete with as yet undesigned guns or quad mountings. Also on that thread no outline or sign of preliminary work on either gun or mount has surfaced.

It also details the communication chaos prevailing over the design of the upgraded 16" 50 calibre destined for the Iowas, where the BuOrd originally designed a triple turret too big even for the designated 45,000 ton ships. It is a further testament to US big gun design and construction resources that this was resolved by designing a new lightweight 16" /50 gun and a lightweight reduced size turret in time to install. These same resources might well have developed an excellent triple quad setup for the North Carolinas, but there is no sign of it, just the 16"/45 triple designed and built in the time it took to build the ships to carry them.

So for the advisability/practicality of the RN going for quad mounts in the KG Vs really relies on the French experience. Quad mounts had been designed for the WW I Normandie class ships but their weapons were no more than 50% complete when construction ceased and they were scrapped.

Moving on to Dunkerque and Strasbourg they had 13" guns each 10 tons lighter than the British 14" but their rotating weight for each quad turret was 1473 tons vs 1550 tons and with internal barbette diameters of 37ft 9in vs 40ft. So for smaller, lighter projectiles the French turrets were pretty close in weight and dimensions to the British design. Despite a hoped-for 25 sec cycle time, Hodges in The Big Gun says this was never achieved and due to design limitations in the shell supply system it was more like doubled. Both Hodges and Campbell mention the armoured bulkhead on the gunhouse centre line to isolate the pairs of guns and that each pair had cradle linkage which presumably saved weight/space but meant the guns were not truly independent unlike the British quads. Another performance limiter for ships which never really got a chance to show their teeth in combat.

Based on their experience with quad design and actual operation, which the British did not have, the French produced the 15" quad for the Richelieus. With each gun weighing 15 tons more than the British 14", one might expect the turret to be just a little beefier. It actually weighed in at 2500 tons! 900 tons more for each turret than the British quad and with an internal barbette diameter of nearly 44ft (vs 40ft). A much heavier and volumetrically larger installation to do much the same job as the British were trying to do. Of course only two of these monsters could be fitted in to the French ships which also somewhat exceeded the Treaty tonnage. Again it can be argued that the extra weight of the internal armoured bulkhead skews the comparison a bit, but with their actual quad turret experience this what the French thought they needed. Again, how effective these mounts were, especially when stressed by action conditions, so as to compare with the British equivalents, is really an unknown.

I am of the opinion (FWIW!) that the British quad 14" tried to fit too much into too little space and resulted in excessive teething troubles and a long gestation. Whether the Americans could have done a better job, even without shortcuts like putting all/some of the guns in a single cradle to save weight/space, remains a moot point. There is evidence they intended to try an create a 14" quad, but nothing to show how it might have been done. The British had nothing like the resources to change armament "horses" in mid-stream like the Americans did with both the NCs and Iowas, so once they started they were committed to the 14". It is to the credit of all those who worked to improve the weapon's performance that their track record in combat is so good.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: Updating the KGV class

Post by paul.mercer » Thu Apr 09, 2020 9:50 am

Gentlemen,
As always many thanks for your contributions to what is obviously a fairly controversial subject.
From what I can gather in my non technical mind it seems that the British 14" gun and the later shells were actually pretty good but they were let down by poor turret design. As has been mentioned earlier, the quad 14" was considerably heavier (by around 150 tons) than the triple 16", so going back to the subject of how many guns it was practicable to put on a KG within Treaty limits i wonder if sacrificing one gun and mounting 3x14" in triple turrets would, in the light of the problems experienced with the Quad design, been a better option?
As has been said in other posts, hitting at long range was very much a chance of luck, certainly in the earlier stages of WW2, at 20,00 or more yards a ship is very much a dot on the horizon, so in effect one is merely aiming at that dot and hoping to hit it somewhere, in all probability somewhere on the superstructure, which although armoured is less likely to withstand the impact of a heavy shell, in which case the more hits one gets 'on the top' the more likely that severe damage will be done to the radar, range finders and bridge personnel etc.therefore surely this in turn is more likely to incapacitate a ship than hull or deck penetrations, so perhaps more, but lighter shells was the real answer?

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