PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

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wadinga
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by wadinga » Tue Mar 12, 2019 5:37 pm

Fellow Contributors,

Firstly an apology to Mr Virtuani. There was apparently no need to employ the practice of redaction since the second sentence did not contradict the first, according to our native German speaker. Also I am unclear how emphasising his relevant experience is at all "mocking" or insinuates anything. A straight question, If you had known your fire control solution was lagging behind the target because you were turning too fast would you still have fired? How would missing because you were turning at an unknown rate and which would soon change again help re-acquire the target?

Herr Nilsson Once again a straight unbiased contribution, thank you. So am I right in understanding:
Due to that (literally "in connection with that" and "that" means turning and firing) the battery was temporarily displaced laterally from the target two times.
That Jasper says shells were fired during the two turns and the shots landed laterally displaced from the target, presumably because the "Seitenvorzündwerk could not compensate for the extreme turn including the heeling Busch describes. Further that the:
Even if the ship turns rolls or pitch the complete firing solution is permanently corrected automatically.
is merely the claim ( superfical explanations) from the designers/manufacturers. But because of the inevitable lag (and filtering of jitter and extreme values) the gyros in these "Vorsprung durch Technik" systems could not deliver what their designers hoped they could deliver, ie a correct solution compensating forany and all circumstances of vessel motion.

They were sensibly designed around minor yaw and rolling movements but not the extreme turns PG undertook. Whatever "Vorzündwinkel" was applied, it was clearly wrong.

As Thorsten has said:
It requires additonal observing of target movements and additional manual corrections to overcome the potential error by lagging.
This complex automatic system thus required manual override and Jasper confirms it was inadequate to prevent wasted shots (displaced laterally is surely gunnery officer jargon for complete miss) fired as Prinz Eugen was turning.

IMHO familiarity with the performance of modern fire control systems is irrelevant in regard to those of the 1940s. Advances in Gyros including GPS gyros and electronic computer Kalman filtering to derive real trends out of noisy values, features with which I am familiar from Seismic surveying, are nothing like 1940s systems. Firing during the turns PG made was clearly a waste of time and ammunition.
According to Paul Schmalenbach Prinz Eugen held firing exercises later in war with complete 360 degrees turns and the shell impacts succesfully stood on target
Does he say whether it was done at full speed with hard over rudder in a North Atlantic swell? I suspect not.
BTW, obtaining a "good firing solution" is by no means a trivial process, as one could derive from the superfical explanations of naval historicans in all Hood and Bismarck TV documentations. In my eyes, they have absolutely no clue about naval gunfire and ... control. The highlight is the "plunging shot", wich caused the loss of Hood falling almost vertically from the sky.
Thorsten, you may attribute, I believe, the very first exposure of the erroneous nature of the story of the "plunging shot" to none other than Bill Jurens, whose 1987 Warship International article revealed the low angle at which any shot from Bismarck would have arrived at Hood. Those TV writers have merely parroted the error several generations of writers have made. However, just because one Revisionist has got something right..........................

All the best

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:41 pm

Hello everybody,

Mr.Wadinga's apologies are gladly accepted, of course.


Once clarified that :
  • PG did not ceased fire during the turns (IMO as firing the guns helps anyway to detect any possible loss of precision coming from the TS),
  • we see several salvos (or smoke in the air) in PG film and in the PG photos taken after 6:03 (I count 10 in my photos),
  • no account (British or German) report any Bismarck fire interruption (or even variations in her RoF) during the whole engagement,
I still think the table comparing PoW gunnery performances (from the PoW GAR, http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm) and the German ones (reconstructed using the same methodology) gives a good view of the effective RoF and of the effective # of shells delivered per minute. Obviously these figures don't depend significantly on the number of ordered shot/salvos but only on the fire action duration.

PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_McMullen_rounded.jpg
PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_McMullen_rounded.jpg (56.43 KiB) Viewed 830 times

Of course I'm ready to accept corrections to any parameter in the above table, if supported by solid evidences, but I'm confident the result will not change dramatically, still showing that the "green" PoW had a very good gunnery performance at DS in comparison to Bismarck, at least in terms of RoF and effective # of shells delivered.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Thorsten Wahl » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:18 pm

still showing that the "green" PoW had
the pool of personnel in the royal navy was significantly larger than it was the case in the Kriegsmarine, the core of personnel came from older battleships. So a "green" crew appears questionable. Both german crews were also "green" in this context.

@wadinga
as far as i remeber correctly the correct functioning of the firecontrol equipment including stabilisation was explicitely mentioned in the AVKS report. But they also explicitely mentioned the exceptionally good whether conditions not allowing for complete measurements (system behavior /oszillations /system failures) in more severe whether conditions.

I suspect the trunnion tilt at maximum rudder was responsible for most of the problems on board Prinz Eugen.

Bismarck on the other hand was a extremly stable platform. Even under maximum rudder its maximum heel was only 1.5 degrees in the testing period. 1.5 degrees max trunion tilt appears negligible to me.
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:11 pm

Accounts of the action after Hood blew up suggest that Bismarck's RoF declined dramatically:

Brooke:
...‘After director take over. After director take over’. Guns and his team were clearly obscured as the stern swung round towards the target. But we were temporarily blind too (though probably not for more than 15 seconds) and Claude Aylwin in ‘Y’ turret, not receiving the expected control orders, assumed we were hors de combat and switched to local control. Each turret was equipped with rudimentary fire control gear for just this emergency and he now used his to get off—rather wildly as was to be expected—three or four salvoes over the starboard quarter. Clouds of black smoke now began to billow out of our funnels—the Captain had ordered a smoke screen—and as the turn continued, the Prince of Wales began to come round behind it. When a warship alters course she pivots about the bridge, her stern skidding outwards. We were ready for action in the after director before the 180° turn was completed and just as I bent to the eyepieces—the Bismarck was now on our port quarter—a 15-inch salvo (or it may. well have been a broadside, ie, all guns firing together) landed about 20 yards short of the quarterdeck. It fell in the smooth ‘slick’ made by the skidding stern, exactly where that stern had been about three seconds before. Even in the heat of the moment I realised it was a good thing the Captain had not delayed that much longer. We got our binoculars on to the enemy just before she was hidden by the smoke, only to see her— not without a sense of relief—alter course away too. Thus the range opened quickly, and the cease-fire gong put an end to ‘Y’ turret’s spirited effort. The Bismarck fired a couple more salvoes—probably by radar—and then a strange silence descended. We sat dazed for a time, saying nothing. My ears sang and my eyes felt sore. It was 06:10...

Brooke, Geoffrey. Alarm Starboard!
The turn where a 38cm salvo fell close to PoW's stern was made at ~0605. The Baron doesn't provide much detail of this part of the action. PE's war diary only states that PE ceased fire at 0609 but remains silent on when Bismarck ceased fire. The last salvo observed by Bismarck (as noted by PE's war diary) was at ~601. There is no indication from PE's war Diary, or anywhere else that Lutjens ordered a ceasefire at 0609 and no indication of when Bismarck ceased fire.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:47 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:41 pm

PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_McMullen_rounded.jpg


Of course I'm ready to accept corrections to any parameter in the above table, if supported by solid evidences, but I'm confident the result will not change dramatically, still showing that the "green" PoW had a very good gunnery performance at DS in comparison to Bismarck, at least in terms of RoF and effective # of shells delivered.


Bye, Alberto
In the above table it is stated that Bismarck fired only ~45 rounds from ~0505- 0602 yet scored at least 4 hits on Hood and PoW including at least 3 on PoW from ~0600:30 to 0602:30 with only ~ 13 rnds fired. Yet the claim is made that PoW's and Bismarck's gunnery was equivalent. The claim is also made that Bismarck's RoF did not change even when presented with two high threat targets, and then one high threat target at close range.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by dunmunro » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:01 pm

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:18 pm
still showing that the "green" PoW had
the pool of personnel in the royal navy was significantly larger than it was the case in the Kriegsmarine, the core of personnel came from older battleships. So a "green" crew appears questionable. Both german crews were also "green" in this context.


The Royal navy had embarked on a very rapid expansion from 1936 onward. Unlike WW1 the RN had to compete with the RAF and Army for many specialist positions in which the navy had a virtual monopoly in 1914. By 1941 the UK was running out of manpower and the RN was feeling the pinch.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 pm

Hello everybody,
Dunmunro wrote: "Accounts of the action after Hood blew up suggest that Bismarck's RoF declined dramatically:"
Brooke (only, not plural) account is clear, but we have at least 10 salvos photographed or filmed after 6:03, thus with all certainty Brooke is wrong (as many British witnesses on board PoW in those convulsed minutes, btw). E.g. several British witnesses said Bismarck fatally hit Hood at 5th salvo, but Rowell account (http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... htm#Rowell) is quite different, pointing to many more salvos and matching the Baron statement of 40 shots (9 salvos) at least (as logical in a 5 minutes firing action).

There is no explicit indication when Bismarck ceased fire, but as Antonio has just shown (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8335&start=375#p82424) her cease fire is around 6:09 because the photo (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... efecht.jpg) shows Bismarck firing after she passed on PG port side and was again on a course around 200° - 220° (guns are pointed almost to her beam).
In addition, why on earth should have Bismarck ceased fire much before Prinz Eugen ? Nobody referred such a "strange" fact.
No room to say that she ceased fire much before 6:09 then... else producing a completely different battlemap and inventing a reason for cease fire that is nowhere accounted for.


Dunmunro wrote: "Yet the claim is made that PoW's and Bismarck's gunnery was equivalent."
No, the claim was:
"...showing that the "green" PoW had a very good gunnery performance at DS in comparison to Bismarck, at least in terms of RoF and effective # of shells delivered." (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8491&p=82426#p82420)
Please be more careful when quoting someone else and avoid to attribute to me statement I have never made.

Hit rate of Bismarck was superior to PoW (probably 5 to 3, not 100 to 1 anyway...). However, PoW found the range before Bismarck (3 minutes to 3,5 minutes at least) and her effective RoF (1.4 to 1.6) and number of shells delivered per minute (7 to 6.4) were at least in line with Bismarck ones. Thus her gunnery performance was very good indeed.



If Mr.Dunmunro wants to propose any change to the parameters of the above table (download/file.php?id=3413) he is welcome, assuming finally however the full responsibility of clearly stating when (in his opinion) Bismarck opened fire and ceased fire based on solid evidences that can counter both the PG KTB (05:55) and the above photo (06:09), else it's better for him to serenely accept what figures tell us in an incontrovertible way, avoiding to repeat the fairy tale of the "green" ship, unable to fire at enemy.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:58 pm

The "64,000 Dollar Question" - How many rounds did Bismarck discharge in her action against Hood and Prince of Wales?
The honest answer is that no one really knows for certain. The figure of 93 rounds relies upon a single source - the "93 rounds expended" comment contained in Lutjen's post action transmission, which lacks any qualifying context.

Nevertheless -
> It is assumed that all 93 rounds mentioned were solely 15-inch caliber.
> It is assumed that all 93 rounds mentioned were expended in Bismarck's action with Hood and Prince of Wales.
> It is assumed that the 93 round figure does not include either the three salvoes (12 x 15-inch rounds) fired against Suffolk in the pre-dawn hours or the several 15-inch rounds discharged against Prince of Wales late in the afternoon of 24 May.
>Less unlikely, but equally uncertain, is the assumption that the 5.9-inch salvoes fired by Bismarck were not included.

Any assertion that the 93 round figure solely represents those 15-inch rounds fired by Bismarck during the morning action of the 24th must inevitably rest upon interpretation, inference, assumption, rationalization or simply pure guess. For example, some argue that it was standard procedure to report consumption of main battery ammunition; if so, then why is it not reasonably possible that the 93 round figure included Bismarck's entire 15-inch consumption, including her firing upon Suffolk, the Hood engagement and her Parthian shots at Prince of Wales later in the day?

B

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:03 am

Hello everybody,
Byron Angel wrote: "...the "93 rounds expended" comment contained in Lutjen's post action transmission, which lacks any qualifying context."
This statement is incorrect. Lutjens message is very clear and the context is undoubtedly the Denmarck Strait battle only, the one fought against Hood and PoW (KG in Lutjens message) as anybody can check here below.

Lutjens_Message_May26.jpg
Lutjens_Message_May26.jpg (53.9 KiB) Viewed 720 times

It is assumed that all 93 shells are 15" caliber spent against Hood and PoW, but if anybody wants to include also other calibers, imagining less 15" shells fired in the table (download/file.php?id=3413) please be free to do it: the overall gunnery performance of Bismarck will follow to unacceptable low levels vs PoW.
In the same way, including in the 93 shells the ones fired at Norfolk on May 23 and/or the second engagement (against Suffolk and PoW) shells (that are anyway excluded by Lutjens message, clearly referring to the main battle), will make PoW vs Bismarck confrontation even more favorable to the British ship....

I would say no assumption here, only what is stated by Lutjens in his message to Kriegsmarine Grouppe West...

I honestly find curious how people here is reluctant to accept what is obvious, just because it contradicts what the "old fairy tale" has told them since the beginning about a poor PoW gunnery performance vs Bismarck.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

"There's always a danger running in the enemy at close range" (Adm.W.F.Wake-Walker)

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by HMSVF » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:25 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:03 am
Hello everybody,
Byron Angel wrote: "...the "93 rounds expended" comment contained in Lutjen's post action transmission, which lacks any qualifying context."
This statement is incorrect. Lutjens message is very clear and the context is undoubtedly the Denmarck Strait battle only, the one fought against Hood and PoW (KG in Lutjens message) as anybody can check here below.


Lutjens_Message_May26.jpg


It is assumed that all 93 shells are 15" caliber spent against Hood and PoW, but if anybody wants to include also other calibers, imagining less 15" shells fired in the table (download/file.php?id=3413) please be free to do it: the overall gunnery performance of Bismarck will follow to unacceptable low levels vs PoW.
In the same way, including in the 93 shells the ones fired at Norfolk on May 23 and/or the second engagement (against Suffolk and PoW) shells (that are anyway excluded by Lutjens message, clearly referring to the main battle), will make PoW vs Bismarck confrontation even more favorable to the British ship....

I would say no assumption here, only what is stated by Lutjens in his message to Kriegsmarine Grouppe West...

I honestly find curious how people here is reluctant to accept what is obvious, just because it contradicts what the "old fairy tale" has told them since the beginning about a poor PoW gunnery performance vs Bismarck.


Bye, Alberto

I would be very surprised if the 93 shells meant anything else than the 15 inch jobs,the whole rationale for a battleship are her big guns. Bismarck carried 115 rounds per gun? I’d take the statement as an indicator that she was still well munitioned.

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:15 am

Hello everybody,

obviously the 93 number refers only to 15" shells but the key point is that they are listed as shells fired during the battle of which Lutjens is speaking and providing several valuable details to the Kriegsmarine Gruppe West: the Denmarck Strait engagement fought against Hood and PoW.

No mention is done by Lutjens in his message (dated May 26) to any other engagement occurred before or after the main battle, but in any case the addition of the salvos fired at Norfolk (on May 23 evening) + the ones fired at Suffolk and PoW (2nd engagement on May 24) would make the Bismarck RoF so low to be simply impossible (and not even compatible with the photos and the film we have).


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by wadinga » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:07 pm

Fellow Contributors,

It has been said:
no account (British or German) report any Bismarck fire interruption (or even variations in her RoF
We only have details of the actual rate of fire for one vessel, Prince of Wales, and the extreme variability of rate of fire, 200% variation on inter salvo timing, indicates that averages are meaningless. We have an average reported for Prinz Eugen but like that of PoW this does not take into account that for part of the action, some part of the armament was not bearing and therefore did not get sampled at all.

In support of this inaccurate and misleading table, we have:
Of course I'm ready to accept corrections to any parameter in the above table, if supported by solid evidences,
When challenged on the irrelevance of the mean value Mr Virtuani has responded:
BS and PG data contain some assumptions but these assumptions do not affect significatively the effettive RoF calculation. Other proposals for correcting the “assumptions” were repeatedly requested and never proposed...
Why must solid evidence now be provided to refute what are admitted to be merely "assumptions"?

So, as before
Since any alternative assumptions would be no more valid, only different to those made this would be pointless
The only evidence about Bismarck's shooting comes from the shell expenditure. When it actually started, when it actually finished, whether the rate varied by up to 200% during its duration, which of the eight guns achieved the shortest reload and fire time or maintained the most consistent average is pure speculation. We believe that Bismarck turned away at about 06:03 and whether guns fired during that evolution is unknown. An assumption that she didn't fire at all from 06:03 until, say 06:06 is equally valid to the assumptions made in the tiresome table.

Now on to a more sensible conversation.

Hello Thorsten,

In the famous picture of Tirpitz heeling under maximum helm avoiding aerial torpedoes (real not imaginary) her mast makes an angle of more than 1.5 degrees. Not much more but somewhat. If Bismarck turned at maximum rate to avoid imaginary torpedoes at about 06:03 the combination of target azimuth change and any heeling/rolling effect may have displaced her battery "temporarily and laterally". Whether there would be any point in wasting valuable shells by firing them under those circumstances is questionable.

Geoffrey Brooke believes firing during such a rapid turn was " rather wild" ie pointless.
he now used his to get off—rather wildly as was to be expected—three or four salvoes over the starboard quarter.
But astonishingly some contributors believe these particular shots were amongst
some of the closest near misses
of the engagement, recorded on film, and ascribed by the photographer to Hood and not PoW at all.

Surely trunnion tilt refers to an orientation at right angles to the line of fire, and is only significant when firing angles are closer to the bow or stern..

From the RN Pocket Gunnery Book:
(ii) Due to Roll, Firing on the Bow.
295A. When firing on the bow with the ship rolling, salvos will fall out of line, owing to the fact that as the ship rolls across the line of fire, part of the elevation angle becomes a training angle. For instance, in the extreme case of a ship being rolled through 90 degrees, all the elevation angle would become training. The error is called CANTED TRUNNION ERROR.
These line errors are extremely serious, especially during chasing actions, firing ahead with the ship rolling heavily. They can be counteracted by firing always at the same point on the roll but this cuts down the rate of fire, so an instrument called CROSS LEVELLING GEAR is introduced into the Director Control Tower. This counteracts the errors, by moving the electrical pointers in the Training Receivers at the guns.
The cross levelling operator sighted directly at the horizon, at right angles to the line of fire, and sought to stabilise the optics. In the case of a hard turn this would have to be for both heeling and rolling effects. Whether the operator's inputs or that from a Stable Vertical are more reliable is a matter for experiment and debate and technological advance in accurately measuring and transmitting the data from the latter. That Bismarck's fire control system sought to do so showed her system was vastly more sophisticated than Hood's which was archaic even compared with PoW's.

All the best

wadinga
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:22 pm

Hello everybody,
Wadinga wrote: "We only have details of the actual rate of fire for one vessel, Prince of Wales, and the extreme variability of rate of fire, 200% variation on inter salvo timing, indicates that averages are meaningless. We have an average reported for Prinz Eugen but like that of PoW this does not take into account that for part of the action, some part of the armament was not bearing and therefore did not get sampled at all. "
However, when required to produce a table showing in the official PoW GAR the ship gunnery performance, McMullen chose the format and methodology of the table (download/file.php?id=3413) , therefore its average figures are very much meaningful, despite the attempts to say the contrary.
For PoW and PG the table is correctly "adjusted" (following McMullen methodology) taking into account the exact number of salvos when any turret was not bearing.



There are no "assumptions" else than firing action duration in the table affecting the "effective" values , therefore either anybody can sustain (with solid evidences) different battle timings or the table validity (and its average values) is confirmed, despite the "tiresome" attempt to say it is not. There are no evidence at all (and not even "weak signals") that Bismarck ceased fire during turns (this is clearly demented by Jasper for PG, we see Bismarck firing while turning in the PG film and no account from any side mentions a "strange" Bismarck RoF fall at any time of the engagement).


I will not even comment on the insisted incorrect statement that would like to attribute the 2 isolated splashes falling around Bismarck in the PG film to Hood and not to the last PoW local salvos, as it has been already discussed at length and proven wrong since long time...


Bye, Alberto
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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by paul.mercer » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:33 am

Gentlemen,
Once again i am going to throw my self open to your experience, only two questions this time!
the first is the rate of shells fired by both ships, as PoW had 10 against 8 would it not be logical to assume that her rate of shells fired (until her guns started to play up) would initially be higher than Bismarck?
Also, it was mentioned that with the RN having to compete against other services for personnel, I believe that until the mid 1920's the RN had more battleships and battle cruisers than most of the world put together, all with heavy guns, so surely many of those serving then would either still either be in place or could be recalled if still in the call up age limits,so is here really that much different to the loading and firing procedure between say a 15" and a 14" gun whether the turret has two or four guns, as it does not seem logical to put entirely an 'green crew in any turret without having some experiences men also there?

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Re: PoW's gunnery VS BSM's gunnery

Post by wadinga » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:06 pm

Hello Paul,
would it not be logical to assume


logical but uninformed by evidence. That is the problem with trying to derive complex theoretical conclusions from the crudest mathematical analysis, ie 10 is more than 8. Or dividing the number of shells fired by a guessed duration of firing.

There are no "assumptions" else than firing action duration in the table affecting the "effective" values
Flat Earth theorists believe the earth logically cannot be spherical because it looks flat. They adopt simplistic elements of science to camouflage their previously-informed intuition as if it is fact and "proven".

You might try asking someone in possession of information about the extensive reports produced on the failures of PoW's guns, about why PoW's 10 guns cannot fire faster than 8.

But then you already had that offer in September last year, have you forgotten?

You said:
In an earlier post I asked if this 'failure to fire' was common amongst WW2 ships, and apparently it was. What still puzzles me is what is the reason for these failures (PoW we know about)
You seemed to be quite familiar with why 10 guns might not be better than 8 then. "PoW we know about" :D

and Alberto very co-operatively answered:
We all know McMullen GAR, giving some explanation for the failures.
There is also a long memo from Mr.Wilkinson (manager in Vickers and later chief designer) to S.Roskill (dated 1965) that explains the problems with 14" turrets and provides additional info about guns failures in PoW during the Bismarck operation (based on the report of Mr.Barben, Vickers foreman in charge of guns on board of PoW during the operation).
The latter is protected by copyright, therefore, if you are interested, please send me a private message with your personal mail address and I will provide you the relevant parts of the memo (already discussed at length on this very thread).
Which showed he is familiar with why PoW's guns fired at much less than optimum performance.

All the best

wadinga
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