gun placement on battleships

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paul.mercer
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gun placement on battleships

Post by paul.mercer » Tue May 14, 2019 9:52 am

Gentlemen,
In many of the other threads there have been references to ships having some of their guns 'masked' by a turn. I realise that the standard position is to have two turrets forward and two aft which in the case of Hood approaching Bismarck would not have her rear turrets available until she made that fateful turn. So my question is this, when two ships are going 'head to head' with another (like Rodney and KGv) and are maneuvering to get into a good position, would the turret placement on Rodney always be an advantage?
I seem to remember in a very old 'Boys (late 1920's I think) Book of the Navy' that when discussing the point of no rear guns on the 'Nelsons' that it was pointed out that "RN ships are built to fight and not run away so a rear turret is not necessary" perhaps a rather arrogant assumption, I would say!
What are your opinions?

OpanaPointer
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by OpanaPointer » Tue May 14, 2019 10:07 am

Third turret on "Washington's cherry trees" was masked by barbette of second turret.

Image

paul.mercer
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by paul.mercer » Tue May 14, 2019 9:03 pm

Thanks for the reply, Presumably as most other ships were a 2+2 arrangement they were considered to be better for some practical uses, but I have often wondered whether for actual battle conditions on say a one to one the three forward turrets might be an advantage

OpanaPointer
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by OpanaPointer » Wed May 15, 2019 12:23 am

Well, at any angle not fouled by the #2 barbette the #3 turret could engage enemies in conjunction with #1 and #2. In the Iowa playout, with #3 aft, only six main guns could engage a target mumble degrees* ahead of the ship. With the Rodneys you could get nine guns firing at about 30°to >90°.

*Mumble because I don't have the angle the Iowas' rear turret could train forward.

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marcelo_malara
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by marcelo_malara » Wed May 15, 2019 11:17 pm

The disposition of the turrets in Nelson was a weight saving measure, nothing related to offensive, in fact it was not repeated in the post-Nelson´s KGV class.

Regrds

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marcelo_malara
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by marcelo_malara » Wed May 15, 2019 11:21 pm

It is a liability:

-dead astern arcs can not be covered
-a single impact that would affect the forward magazines (supposing the ship survives that) would disable 100% of the primary artillery

OpanaPointer
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by OpanaPointer » Thu May 16, 2019 12:23 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:17 pm
The disposition of the turrets in Nelson was a weight saving measure, nothing related to offensive, in fact it was not repeated in the post-Nelson´s KGV class.

Regrds
Yep. They were called "Washington's Cherry Trees" because the displacement limits set down in the Washington Naval Limitations Treaty caused the RN to shorten the armored area by putting the third turret immediately behind the second turret. (What's the official RN designation for the main turrets in this case?)

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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by Byron Angel » Thu May 16, 2019 1:05 am

OpanaPointer wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:23 am
Yep. They were called "Washington's Cherry Trees" because the displacement limits set down in the Washington Naval Limitations Treaty caused the RN to shorten the armored area by putting the third turret immediately behind the second turret. (What's the official RN designation for the main turrets in this case?)
A B Y iirc

B

OpanaPointer
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by OpanaPointer » Thu May 16, 2019 1:41 am

Did Rodney use that system? Or did they have a "C" turret. Idle question, of course. :think:

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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by Byron Angel » Thu May 16, 2019 2:25 am

OpanaPointer wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 1:41 am
Did Rodney use that system? Or did they have a "C" turret. Idle question, of course. :think:

My apologies, Opanapointer. I checked one of my refrences and Rodney's turret nomenclature was A B X.

Following from USN naval attaché aboard Rodney during her engagement with Bismarck -

"H.M.S. Rodney Preliminary Gunnery Report of Action, 27 May 1941
NOTE: The RODNEY has three 16" triple gun turrets. All 16" turrets are located in the
forward part of the ship and are named "A," "B" and "X" turrets in order from forward
to aft. "B" turret is the high turret."

Byron

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marcelo_malara
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by marcelo_malara » Thu May 16, 2019 2:40 am

A, B and C would make more sense. I will check R.A. Burt for confirmation.

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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by OpanaPointer » Thu May 16, 2019 5:58 am

Maybe "A, B, O", for 'Odd'? :cool:

paul.mercer
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by paul.mercer » Thu May 16, 2019 9:28 am

marcelo_malara wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:21 pm
It is a liability:

-dead astern arcs can not be covered
-a single impact that would affect the forward magazines (supposing the ship survives that) would disable 100% of the primary artillery
Hi Marcelo
I may be wrong, but I thought we had covered this point in another thread and came to the conclusion that this would be very unlikely due to the heavy armour in that portion of the ship, an anyone advise?
One other question why, would she want to cover her stern arcs unless she was running away? I realise that the triple turret arrangement was not kept on the KGV's but reading all the posts on the class the 4-2-4 arrangement was not entirely brilliant either and it seems to me with my (admittedly very limited knowledge of the subject) that apart from the second turret occasionally being 'masked' the arrangement was quite efficient, although perhaps possibly 'putting all ones eggs in one basket'!

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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by OpanaPointer » Thu May 16, 2019 11:51 am

Were either of the ships ever in a situation where the layout proved ... awkward? Against the Big B they could pretty much chose their orientation vis-à-vis the enemy.

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marcelo_malara
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Re: gun placement on battleships

Post by marcelo_malara » Thu May 16, 2019 2:24 pm

Confirmed, it was X.

Paul, reality is that few Dreadnoughts were designed with all guns forward, AFAIK there were this and the two French. It means that always the navies liked the possibility of shooting astern, no necessary needs to be a running fight, an enemy may approach from the after arcs undetected (in fog may be?) and it is good to have the possibility of shooting him.

Regards

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