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The Naval War

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

  1. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    True. Especially given the fact that Prinz Eugen was not one of the best designed cruisers the world has ever seen, a sad fact echoed by most German cruisers of the period. They were simply inferior, overall, to their British counterparts. There were some lousy designs among the Royal Navy's cruiser inventory (Exeter and her sisters, for example), but I personally would rather have sailed and fought in a British cruiser than a German one, given the choice.
     
  2. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    A little harsh to all the mentioned ships. Its true that the 'superiority' of many German designs really came from the fact they were alot heavier that their stated displacement. In the case of Prinz Eugen 14,240 rather than the 10,000 stated. The same is true of Bismark. They weren't the greatest designs but they were competitive although weak sterns was a trait they all seemed to share. Some of the small German vessels really were down right dodgy. Some of the German destroyers being cases in point.

    Exeter and York (there were only two ships in the class) were basically an attempt to build cheap heavy cruisers. Both were lost in the first half of the war but within the limitations of their size it would appear they were reasonable enough ships.
     
  3. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I disagree. The German cruisers were largely equipped with diesel engines which proved unreliable; they also lacked sufficient range to be effective commerce raiders. Exeter and York were also short-legged, plus their main battery consisted of only six 8-inch guns. I know that overgunning any ship is a bad idea, but this is, IMHO, a serious lack of firepower. To me, this indicates poor design work on these ships.
     
  4. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    I disagree. German cruisers were largely equipped with high pressure steam turbines which proved unreliable. Most light cruisers were equipped with diesels but apparently those were only for low speed cruising purpose. Deutchland class is problematic here, were those ships cruisers or something else. Or were they shiptype on their own?
     
  5. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    The surviving 'pocket battleships' were reclassed as Heavy cruisers mid way through the war not sure what their German designation was before that.

    In reply to corpcasselbury the two Yorks the were built because the Countys that had come before them had proved pretty expensive and a three oceans navy as the RN was needed plently of hulls.
     
  6. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    I still don't believe that they were cost effective or very combat worthy. This can, of course, be said of many cruiser classes in all of the combatant navies in WW2, for a wide variety of reasons.
     
  7. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Well the big reason was the Washington Treaty it was very difficult to get a well balanced design inside 10,000 ton displacement. There were more than a few classes in several countries that were described a tinclads. The British favoured smaller designs and continued to stick with the 10,000 ton size range after the start of the war.

    The Germans and the Japanese basically cheated and claimed their ships were a lot lighter than they really were. Triggering one British designer, when complained at by the RN, to say either Japanese heavier than their stated displacement or the they were building their ships out of cardboard.
     
  8. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    And of course the designer was ignored. :roll:
     
  9. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The British had conclusive evidence about the Zaras. One of them had to go into Gibraltar with storm damage, and the British took the opportunity to closely examine her dimensions. She was obviously over the treaty tonnage, but the British chose to let it go rather than cause a ruckus. It was in Britain's best interests to keep the treaty system intact.
     
  10. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    Oh? To what end, if everyone else was ignoring the treaty limits anyway?
     
  11. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Creating an international incident & trying to face down well-armed nations during an era of Pacifism was not Britain's strong point in the 20s & 30s.

    I would suggest that we just followed the treaty and let everyone else carry on ignoring it...
     
  12. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    "Oh? To what end, if everyone else was ignoring the treaty limits anyway?"
    To prevent a naval arms race. Britain was not going to buried by a handful of 12,000-ton cruisers, but she could be buried by numerically unlimited fleets from the other signatories. In fact, she was. Fortunately, the guys with the shovels were Americans.
     
  13. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    True. :D
     
  14. corpcasselbury

    corpcasselbury New Member

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    We have spoken about cruisers, so along that line, what about the Battle of the River Plate? My personal opinion is that Captain Langsdorff did not fight his ship very well; he should have been able to blow Commodore Harwood's ships out of the water. The amount of damage ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE inflicted on the three British cruisers would seem to confirm my view of the engagement.

    This is NOT, of course, intended to take anything away from Commodore Harwood and his men; they fought with incredible skill and gallantry in the face of a formidable opponent.
     
  15. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    Langsdorff may not have fought a perfect battle, especially during the time when he was unconscious, but I think his ship did about as well as one could hope. One cruiser of 12,000 tons fighting three cruisers totaling 23,000 tons is at a disadvantage.
     
  16. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    What were the "Monitors" like? They are mentioned but not described in the book "Caen The Anvil of Victory".

    Cheers!
     
  17. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    I'm not sure but I think ww2 monitors were slow, smallish ships with large guns, dedicated to shore bombardment.
     
  18. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    The big British monitors were extremely effective ships. In fact, I can't help thinking Abercrombie ranks among the best RN designs of her period. Experience showed that a monitor was the virtual equal of a battleship in shore bombardment, except having smaller magazines. And when not doing that, they were highly regarded as AA guardships.
    The hull form was extremely fat but shallow. This made them resistant to underwater damage. In WWI, Terror became the first ship ever to survive three torpedo hits. (Fortunately for her, there was a beach nearby.)
    The first of the big-gun monitors looked like, well, the original monitor with nothing but a funnel, a conning tower, and a turret--a HUGE 15in turret like that of a battleship. The Admiralty had a heck of a time finding suitable machinery, and the early ships barely crawled along.
     
  19. Mutant Poodle

    Mutant Poodle New Member

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    Wow, thanks for the post.
     
  20. Tiornu

    Tiornu Member

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    You might enjoy a look at Ian Buxton's book Big Gun Monitors.
     

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