Bismarck v Warspite

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paul.mercer
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Bismarck v Warspite

Post by paul.mercer » Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:24 pm

Gentlemen,
Have got about halfway into reading Ian Ballantynes latest book on the career of HMS Warspite.
It seems that she was extensivley rebuilt just prior to WW2 almost from the bare frames upwards, and a number of extra wartertight compartments were added as well as a lot more armour and she topped out at just over 36,000 tons. She apparently had an excellent gunnery record and as her battering at Jutland proved she was a tough old ship.
Now I am not suggesting that she could have taken on and beaten Bismarck on her own, but I do think she would have aquitted herself well, perhaps causing severe damage to the larger more modern ship.
What do you think?

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by dunmunro » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:09 pm

Warspite certainly had a very modern FC system and her 15" guns could destroy any potential opponent, but even with the rebuild Warspite did not have enough armour to slug it out with a modern battleship. Her armour layout was similar to Hood's and her main belt was really too shallow for good protection from modern AP shells.

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by celticmarine10 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:43 am

dunmunro wrote:even with the rebuild Warspite did not have enough armour to slug it out with a modern battleship.
I agree! Bismarck would probably have won that contest, though not without serious damage.
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by tommy303 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:54 pm

It would depend on how rapidly Bismarck could score hits, what systems they damaged, how wide spread the damage was, etc. She might receive telling damage in return, or she might emerge untouched by enemy shell. One can never tell how the fates will let the cards fall.

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by lwd » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:46 pm

Indeed luck plays a role in these engagments and Warspite seemed to be a lucky ship. If for instance she got a hit like Rodney's that resulted in half Bismarck's armament be silenced at least for 10-20 minutes then she would have a chance of winning. On the other hand I'd put my money on Bismarck.

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Gary
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Gary » Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:44 pm

The barbette armour on the QE class wasnt wonderful I dont think.
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Tiornu » Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:49 pm

Understatement! Especially for the forward barbettes.

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by WestPhilly » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:34 pm

Tiornu wrote:Understatement! Especially for the forward barbettes.
The forward barbettes were less well protected than the after barbettes? Or do you mean the forward part of the barbette, as opposed to the sides?

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Tiornu » Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:39 pm

Barbettes A and B were more vulnerable due to the removal of a section of casemate armor. I believe the armor was originally 6in, but when the guns were taken out, their armor was also removed and replaced by 2in D steel. In Warspite's incremental armor scheme, the barbette armor was thinner under the weather deck because it could not be struck directly. A low-trajectory shell would have to first penetrate the casemate armor. So Warspite lost 4 inches of barbette protection. I should probably double-check those numbers....

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun May 15, 2011 11:31 pm

Bismarck any time.
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by madmike » Thu Sep 29, 2011 1:00 pm

Bismarck for sure over Warspite,,,but i think warspite would have caused damage

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Nonniey » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:03 am

As earlier poster pointed out Warspite was an extremely lucky ship, lucky enough, I'd say to knock out the weakly protected fire control system on the Bismark, which would have doomed the Bismark.

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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by tommy303 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:34 am

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was considered to be an extremely lucky cavalry commander, at least until that fateful day in June 1876. There comes a time when luck can run out, or coversely when one crosses the path of an opponent whose luck or karma exceeds one's own.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood and Earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned these defended;
And saved the sum of things for pay.

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Rick Rather
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Rick Rather » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:15 am

"I'd rather be lucky than good."

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:pray:
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Re: Bismarck v Warspite

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:23 pm

Nonniey wrote:As earlier poster pointed out Warspite was an extremely lucky ship, lucky enough, I'd say to knock out the weakly protected fire control system on the Bismark, which would have doomed the Bismark.
The fire control( fire control computers) is well protected below the armored deck. What you mean were the fragile optical and radar equipment and fire control stations. Sensors and observers cannot protected against impact of major projectiles. But this applies to all sensors on ships from whatever navy.

Bismarck had 3 x 10.5m main optical measuring instruments and radars on top of every fire control station. Additional ther are 3 optical measuring instruments at turrets B,C,D and several smaller optical instruments.

The optical instruments and radar equipment deliver range and bearing data to 4 independent firecontrolcomputers in 2 computing stations, from these computing stations all main and medium artillery were remote controlled.
In the case of failure of components it will be switched to the next available ressource.

Nevertheless any gun can fire under local control.

AA artillery had seperate sensors, 4 firecontrolstations (directors) and 2 computing stations. Via emergency circuits, this equipment could also control the naval guns.
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