Battle Tracks at Denmark Strait

Discussions about the history of the ship, technical details, etc.

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Bgile
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Re: Battle Tracks at Denmark Strait

Post by Bgile » Fri May 08, 2009 4:00 pm

Vic Dale wrote:
It is a fact that large warships take time to respond to the helm and battleships being heavy and ponderous even more so. The Admiralty Manual of Seamanship 1967 P.394 para 4;

"When the wheel of a ship is put over the ship does not begin to swing for some time."

The wheelhouse of large warships in the Royal Navy is usually sited several decks below the bridge and often below the armour. In heavy warships largely they are blind positions, certainly in the older vessels with which I am mostly accquainted.

Vic Dale
I understand, although my personal experience is only with submarines, which respond to helm input instantly or as close as to make the delay undetectable by the helmsman.

US practice is to put the primary helm on the bridge, and I believe that has always been the case.

Bgile
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Re: Battle Tracks at Denmark Strait

Post by Bgile » Fri May 08, 2009 4:56 pm

Vic,

When making my previous post I forgot it's original purpose, which was to question whether it would really take 20 seconds for PoW to begin turning. That's an awfully long time.

JtD
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Re: Battle Tracks at Denmark Strait

Post by JtD » Fri May 08, 2009 6:08 pm

I think it may start to drift in the first 20 seconds before really starting to turn. It doesn't really sound unreasonable.

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Re: Battle Tracks at Denmark Strait

Post by Vic Dale » Fri May 08, 2009 6:55 pm

Bgile wrote:Vic,

When making my previous post I forgot it's original purpose, which was to question whether it would really take 20 seconds for PoW to begin turning. That's an awfully long time.
I have even read accounts of longer times for delay in answering, though this would probably be due to individual ship's characteristics.

That said I find I cannot argue with Bill Juren's figures and must conclude that my recollection regarding rate of turn at high speed is worng. To say I am surprised by this is to say the least. Everything I had seen written about ship's turning at speed including some Admiralty Chart entries seemed to support 2 degrees per second. It is unlikely therefore that PoW's turrets could not track the target directly due to inability to follow the rate of turn.

However that does not preclude inability to track during the turns, due to the influence of heel on the turret mechanisms. It will be recalled that a shell rolled off the shell ring during the hard turn away under smoke (0605 on my chart) so heeling with loose ammunition about may have necessitated keeping the turrets stationary until the heel decreased. I have no detailed information on this, except that regarding the impact on instruments. As pointer needles were sticking due to vibration it is likely that difficulties in target tracking were encountered during the turns and ammunition transfer might be halted also.

Happily this revelation about rate of turn does not alter my chart, because I did not factor in any turns sharper than can be seen on PG's chart or which are described in the narratives. The courses and alterations are dictated by observations and reports and are only those necessary to achive a given point at which a documented event at given range occurred.

Vic Dale

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