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The Naval War

Discussion in 'The War at Sea' started by corpcasselbury, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    I don't think the no risk order in that situation was that bad an idea. The two Scharhorsts could have undoubtedly have taken out Ramillies. However if Ramillies had landed even one lucky shot and reduced the speed of even one of the Scharhorsts then the Germans would have faced loosing 50% of their available cap ships.

    I think with hindsight for Germany to use or frankly even possess capital ships was a mistake. The resourses that it took to build and man Bismark could have been used to turn dozens of merchant ships into small raiders. True none would last all that long but they would still pin down real warships and if you loose an armed merchantman big deal.


    On the subject of the Yamatos at Guadalcanal I don't hold myself out as any expert but what I do know do know is that many of the clashes were in battleship terms at knife fight range. The side that shoots first will come out best since at such short range no practical scale of armour will stop a shell and since more shells in a salvo will hit a ship will very quickly take a fatal level of damage.
     
  2. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Yeah, but imagine if the Yamato got in the first salvo...
     
  3. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Exactly my point. The first salvo will probably destroy critical equipment and kill senior personel. You'll only have a matter of seconds to try to figure out where the shots came from, whats still working and who's still alive before the next salvo arrives. At short range hot battleship on battleship action is going to be short and messy regardless of who's actually involved. Potentially any battleship can take out any other battleship if, and only if, it gets the first shot in.
     
  4. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Yamato's first salvo would not cause all that much damage if she fires Type 3 shells, as Hiei did. And 18in ammo won't make a big difference if it scores only one hit, as was the case with Kirishims'a main battery against SoDak.
     
  5. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I stand corrected. You will admit, though, that the pounding her superstructure took didn't help her any? :)
     
  6. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I was under the impression that SOUTH DAKOTA was hit more than one time by KIRISHIMA. Or were the other hits from the Japanese ship's secondary battery?
     
  7. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Many of Hiei's bridge crew were killed by machine gun fire, so yeah, I'd have to say the superstructure hits ruined a few days!
    Most of the hits on SoDak came from 8in shells. Only one 14in hit is confirmed, and SoDak's armor stopped it dead. The fact of the matter is that, if it had been a 46cm shell, it might have been stopped dead as well--no way to know for sure. Japanese shells used an explosive that was liable to burst on impact. In addition to the one 14in hit, there were three hits on Boise's face-hardened armor at Cape Esperance. These are the only hits by Japanese AP shells on face-hardened armor that I know of. Not a single one performed properly. A hit on Boise's barbette resulted in a broken shell with no explosion, though the deformed barbette jammed the turret. A hit on a turret faceplate left nothing but a slight mark on the armor (lots of splinters in the vicinity, however). A hit on Boise's belt caused a dent but little else. And then the hit on SoDak. If the shell explodes before defeating the armor, it doesn't matter how big the shell is; it cannot defeat thick plating.
    Wait--I remembered some more. Some of the 8in shells hit SoDak's belt; obviously none penetrated. though one did chhip a large piece off an edge.
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    That's very interesting. I didn't know light cruisers like BOISE even had enough armor to stop a large caliber shell. I presume, then, that Admiral Callaghan's cruisers lacked such protection?

    I wonder if this failure of the Japanese shells could be related to the similar failure of British shells in both World Wars?
     
  9. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Well, the Japanese dis initially base their Navy on the RN, but surely that is taking things too far!
     
  10. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Where are you getting this from? I know of the problems the British had at Jutland but I've not heard there was a particular problem in WW2. The problems I've heard of relate to turrets rather than shell performance.
     
  11. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Those hits on Boise were not large-caliber; they were all 8in.
    There is a minor connection between the Japanese shell failures and the poor performance of British shells at Jutland. Both used explosives that would tend to increase the number of premature detonations. Both had modest proof conditions. But the resemblances are not compelling. Japanese shells were thoroughly unique. Everyone had shells like the British ones at some time early in the century.
    British shells in WWII were fine. They might still have had a little trouble with prematures, but nothing major.
     
  12. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I read somewhere that the British AP shells in the battle with BISMARK had a tendency to break up. Is this information wrong?
     
  13. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    In general, Biriths shells were fine. The 8in AP design was more of an SAP design, perhaps similar in concept to the Japanese 8in AP. The thought may have been that cruisers would not be carrying thick FH armor, but by the late 1930's there were plenty of cruisers with FH armor.
    An 8in shell would have had trouble with Bismarck's upper citadel armor, to say nothing of the main belt.
     
  14. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Yes but nothing could protect against HMS Norfolk's Rangefinder seeking shells. Its thought shells from Norfolk were responsible for knocking off primary firecontrol positions on both Bismark and Scharhorst.
     
  15. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Yeah, Norfolk had magic shells.
     
  16. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Speaking of NORFOLK, do you think BISMARK should have tried harder to sink her and SUFFOLK, or at least damage them enough to force them away? I know Admiral Lutjens has been criticized for not doing more to try and get rid of them.
     
  17. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    I think Bismarck should not have been loitering around an ocean owned by the Royal Navy.
     
  18. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Easier said than done. Suffolk's radar meant they could shadow Bismark without having to get inside effective weapons range. Since they were cruisers they a slight speed advantage that would make it damn near impossible for Bismark to get close enough to make firing worth the bother. Sending Prinze Eugen back would have meant loosing Prinze Eugen since even if she won the cruiser would take damage and they were along way from port.
     
  19. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    So you don't think that Bismark could have perhaps slipped up on the two Brits while they were busy dealing with Prinz Eugen?
     
  20. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Not really to be honest. Unless Suffolks radar is taken out of the picture they can tell where Bismark is what direction she is going in and possibly the colour of the captains underwear. Ok maybe not the last one but the bottom line is that a pair of County class cruisers are not going to take on a battleship or even let it get close. There would be some mileage in sending back Prinze Eugen and Bismark legging it but sucide missions don't do great things for morale.
     

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