KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

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dunmunro
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:55 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:Hi Duncan,
thanks for showing Y3 failure in the GAR, I have missed it.

I see you still insist to compare apples with pears.
Rodney had to cease fire 7 times, KGV never wooded all her turrets together. Rodney course was much much complicated than KGV course (more stable), Rodney had (by design) a lower RoF, as logical mounting more heavy guns. Also KGV was closing to Bismarck in the final stages of the battle, Rodney was closer but KGV should have augmented her salvo rate as well (I think Tovey himself asked to close in order to put more shells on her) but you want to ignore this.

However I give up here, we can agree to disagree. My best estimate is 680 to 700 ordered shots for KGV, based on Y4 gun 49 fired shells, without firing for 25 (or 28) minutes, is yours still 550 now ?


Bye, Alberto

Rodney fired for 3 minutes longer than KGV and that plus her greater turret traverse rate more than cancelled out any loss of output from her turns.* Additionally Rodney's gun crews could use any salvo delays to load guns and perform maintenance but there is no evidence from her salvo chart that the turns caused any noticeable loss of output. Rodney was, on average, closer to Bismarck and had better position for visibility given the weather and salvo smoke. RN RoF was based upon salvo firing and Rodney's theoretical maximum salvo rate was 3 salvos/min yet Rodney did not come close to this during the action and instead her RoF was set by the need to spot FoS which was made difficult by the Force 8 gale and commensurate sea state . KGV had the advantage of radar ranging (for a while) and more modern FC but Rodney had the advantage in turret traverse rates, closer average ranges and better visibility.

I pointed out that KGV did use broadside fire for part of the last half of the battle and this did raise the RoF of Y turret making it unrepresentative of the average salvo rate.

*Rodney's AFCT broke down at 0947 at salvo 90. Her average salvo rate for 60mins was therefore 1.5 per minute. ( BWOC, KGV's salvo rate was between 1.44 and 1.56 for the first 32 minutes which is virtually identical. ) Given one salvo every 40 seconds, Rodney could turn 160degs between salvos with no loss of output. A turn of 180 degrees would only result in 5 seconds delay.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:19 am

Dunmunro wrote: "RN RoF was based upon salvo firing and Rodney's theoretical maximum salvo rate was 3 salvos/min yet Rodney did not come close to this during the action and instead her RoF was set by the need to spot FoS"
Hi Duncan,
correct, also at DS both British and German ships did not fire at their maximum RoF. However, despite the same problem (the very quick change in range and a switch of target), BS fired in average 1,9 salvos per minute (theoretically she could have fired 4 to 6 salvos per minute) and PG 3,2 salvos per minute (her max being more than 10). This is almost proportional to their higher max RoF, at least after their first ranging salvos.
The same should IMO be applied to KGV and Rodney, lacking any other solid element.

you wrote: "KGV did use broadside fire for part of the last half of the battle and this did raise the RoF of Y turret making it unrepresentative of the average salvo rate."
This is something I don't fully understand: a broadside should be the same of 2 salvos, at least for the ordered shot calculation and salvo rate.....The effect of the broadsides should be to increase the salvo rate only. Still Y4 (even assuming it was never misfiring) was able to fire 49 shells and in the second half of the battle for sure the salvo rate was higher than from 9:48 till 9:20 (1,7/minute) due to distance decrease.

I still don't see why we should assume much less than 700 shots ordered.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:03 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dunmunro wrote: "RN RoF was based upon salvo firing and Rodney's theoretical maximum salvo rate was 3 salvos/min yet Rodney did not come close to this during the action and instead her RoF was set by the need to spot FoS"
Hi Duncan,
correct, also at DS both British and German ships did not fire at their maximum RoF. However, despite the same problem (the very quick change in range and a switch of target), BS fired in average 1,9 salvos per minute (theoretically she could have fired 4 to 6 salvos per minute) and PG 3,2 salvos per minute (her max being more than 10). This is almost proportional to their higher max RoF, at least after their first ranging salvos.
The same should IMO be applied to KGV and Rodney, lacking any other solid element.

you wrote: "KGV did use broadside fire for part of the last half of the battle and this did raise the RoF of Y turret making it unrepresentative of the average salvo rate."
This is something I don't fully understand: a broadside should be the same of 2 salvos, at least for the ordered shot calculation and salvo rate.....The effect of the broadsides should be to increase the salvo rate only. Still Y4 (even assuming it was never misfiring) was able to fire 49 shells and in the second half of the battle for sure the salvo rate was higher than from 9:48 till 9:20 (1,7/minute) due to distance decrease.

I still don't see why we should assume much less than 700 shots ordered.


Bye, Alberto
Bismarck ceased fire at 0609 so she fired for about 16-14 minutes. So her RoF was only 93/~15min = ~6/min or about 1.5 salvos/min (if she used RN salvos).

The effect of broadside firing is that a gun is ordered to fire every salvo, rather than every other salvo. This will typically result in a greater RoF per gun/min but it means that the gun's output (minus any recorded loss of output) can no longer be used to determine the number of 1/2 gun salvos fired. However, we know KGV and Rodney's salvo rates at 32 and 60 minutes into the battle, and those numbers tell us what we need to know.

We need to know the number of rnds ordered to be fired over the entire battle, not any any one moment in time.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:17 pm

Dunmunro wrote: " Bismarck ceased fire at 0609 so she fired for about 16-14 minutes. So her RoF was only 93/~15min = ~6/min or about 1.5 salvos/min "
Hi Duncan,
you are mixing fired shells with ordered shots here. Bismarck ordered 104, 108 or 112 shots. I propose 108 as a realistic figure. Therefore her salvo rate was 1,85, if firing as per RN procedure. Here the correct calculations:
PoW_vs_Bismarck(108)_firing-1.jpg
PoW_vs_Bismarck(108)_firing-1.jpg (55.31 KiB) Viewed 2085 times
Assuming 104 ordered shots , the salvo rate would be 1,78, with 112 it would be 1,92. PG was firing proportionally faster as KGV should have done on May 27 compared to the "slower" Rodney.



Thanks for the expalnation re. broadsides. In my calculations, I usually assume 1 broadside = 2 salvos (or 3 salvos for the "Littorios" that were usually firng one turret at once). The salvo rate and the ordered shot figure is not affected. Of course the effect is that RoF is increasing....


Bye, Alberto
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:24 am

I'll try and update this on Monday, with a newer graphic chart.

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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by dunmunro » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:01 am

dunmunro wrote:I'll try and update this on Monday, with a newer graphic chart.
Ok, while I was away for a bit. I should be able to get to it this week.

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:25 am

Hi all,
I re-open this thread (that seems to me the most appropriate one) as in the documentation from Churchill Archives, I have just seen some extremely interesting (and long ) papers sent from Mr.Wilkinson (Vickers-Armstong manager at Barrow) to Stephen Roskill regarding the PoW 14" guns behavior during the operation against Bismarck.
At first glance they look more or less in line with PoW official GAR from McMullen, but looking at the details of the fired rounds (specified by Mr.Barben, Vickers Armstrongs foreman in charge on board PoW, gun per gun, to Mr.Wilkinson), I noticed some differences and some interesting remarks on the functioning and defects of the turrets during the DS engagement, especially when compared to the excellent work done by Dunmunro and already kindly shared on this forum.


First of all, the count of the expended rounds is the same in Barben report than in McMullen GAR only in total (105 rounds, including the three engagements and the 4 local control fired rounds during the first one).
However, the number of rounds expended in the first action, when under director control, is slightly different: Barben says 56 while McMullen says 55, versus 74 ordered to fire in 18 salvos. This small difference is then compensated by 4 rounds expended during the third engagement according to Barben (versus 5 rounds according to McMullen).


What is more interesting however, is the "gun by gun" round split. Please see here the details for the first engagement (the other engagements are detailed too) according to Mr.Barben compared to McMullen GAR:
Barben to Wilkinson in June 1 1941 and Wilkinson to Roskill in 1965.jpg
Barben to Wilkinson in June 1 1941 and Wilkinson to Roskill in 1965.jpg (58.75 KiB) Viewed 1946 times
McMullen_GAR.jpg
McMullen_GAR.jpg (42.6 KiB) Viewed 1946 times
Also, very interestingly, turret "B" is mentioned by McMullen as having had "no mechanical defects" during the first action, however Mr.Barben explains, in his long report (not reproduced here), that the turret actually lost 3 salvos due to a "human error" managing the shell ring main ......

I feel that Mr.Barben report is giving very precious info to re-construct, together with McMullen GAR, an even more complete (than the already very good one from Dunmunro, THE reference up to now) PoW salvo plot (with fired guns per turret per salvo), each of them containing info that are not present in the other one.
Also, Mr.Barben report is perfectly in line with the "Y" turret failure of guns No.2 and No. 3 at 14th and 15th salvo, leaving, together with McMullen GAR, very few "guessed" failed shots.

Of course we speak here of reports and info coming from "interested" parties, who were working for Vickers-Armstrongs, tending to underline the human errors, while McMullen GAR is only mentioning the pure technical problems...... :think: The most clear example of this is the malfunction of the No.1 "A" turret gun with different "explanations" (not reproduced here).

If anyone is interested in getting the info contained in the full report of Mr.Barben (including the problem in "B" turret mentioned above and the comments of Mr.Wilkinson), please send me a private message.


Bye, Alberto
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Cag » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:02 pm

Hi All

Hi Alberto thanks for that, I'm working through this at the moment, I've also got a letter from Barben from another archive which states his position during the battle was in B turret.

I presume this would allow him to have known exactly what happened in that turret. His explanations do tend to show how much the crew were under trained etc.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:01 am

Hi all,
as I have mentioned above Dunmunro's precise reconstruction of the PoW gunenry output, based on McMullen GAR (see: http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm), I'm attaching here his conclusions (in a different format, but data should be ok) and my own comparison of PoW, BS and PG gunnery output, based on the same info. Both these have been discussed at length in this forum.


PoWfiring_McMullen.jpg
PoWfiring_McMullen.jpg (89.69 KiB) Viewed 1915 times
Note: in red the "surely" lost shots, in orange the "probable" lost shots, in yellow the "possible/guessed" lost shots


PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_McMullen.jpg
PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_McMullen.jpg (61.57 KiB) Viewed 1915 times
Notes: data is in the RN format used by McMullen in his GAR. For PoW only the director control firing is taken into account (55 shots). For Bismarck the ordered shots are assumed 108 (as per the long discussions we had in this forum based on photos, film and other info from reports and witnesses). It could have been 104 or 112, depending on firing methodology and other aspects, but it does not change much.



As you see from the above, using McMullen GAR, still we have a few lost shots that are not explained in detail and "guessed" as belonging to a turret and/or a gun. In the official GAR some technical defects are listed but no count of salvo lost is given related to these defects and no "human error" is listed.


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:22 am

Hi all,
based on the document sent by Mr.Wilkinson (manager of Vickers at Barrow and responsible for the KGV 14" mountings and for their erection on board) to S.Roskill, including Mr.Barben (Vickers foreman in charge, on board PoW during the operation against Bismarck) letter dated June 1st, 1941, I have tried to build a slightly different gunnery output for PoW during the DS battle, using both this input and McMullen GAR, assuming the count of rounds is correct as per Barben letter).


PoWfiring_Wilkinson_Barben.jpg
PoWfiring_Wilkinson_Barben.jpg (88.17 KiB) Viewed 1912 times
Note: in red the "surely" lost shots, in orange the "probable" lost shots, in yellow the "possible/guessed" lost shots



This is the comparison between PoW, BS and PG gunnery output modified according to Barben (not much changes, of course)
PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_Wilkinson_Barben.jpg
PoW_BS_PG_Output_Comparison_Wilkinson_Barben.jpg (58.96 KiB) Viewed 1912 times
Notes: data is in the RN format used by McMullen in his GAR. For PoW only the director control firing is taken into account (thus 56 shots, please see my post from yesterday in this thread). For Bismarck the ordered shots are assumed 108 (as per the long discussions we had in this forum based on photos, film and other info from reports and witnesses). It could have been 104 or 112, depending on firing methodology and other aspects, but it does not change much.



As you see, using also Barben info in addition to McMullen, the number of "guessed" lost shots decreases dramatically and the "surely" lost shots are much more in line with data available. The main change is related to Turret "B" that, according to McMullen, showed "no mechanical defects" while Barben (sitting in "B" turret) explains it lost 3 salvos (possibly 16, 17 and 18 but it could be before, as far as I understand about the capacity of the main ring) due to a "human error". Also gun No.1 in "A" turret failure is attributed by Barben to a "human error" that could have affected also the other guns in the turret.
Of course he is an "interested" party in this discussion, being an employee of Vickers...... :think: However, the same can be said about McMullen, who was not interested in underlining the ship's crew errors. :wink:


I will post later here Barben's words (and Wilkinson comment) about "B" turret problem.


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Cag » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:39 am

Hi All

Hi Alberto just as a bit of info there were 3 Vickers men on board during the battle Barben and another gentleman in B turret, Lt Cawthra of PoW had another Vickers worker in A turret. Y turret had PoW ordnance officer Lt Lancaster stationed there without any Vickers employees.

A1 gun according to Barben was lost due to the nose of a shell being driven into the arrestor. The rammer speed seems to have been increased across the 4 guns and the main hydraulic supply control was closed down to limit this speed. A2 and A3 guns losses are not explained but McMullen does give some information in his report which may help you and Dunmunro.

B turrets loss problems do concur with McMullen but his report has this happening prior to the battle where as Barben has this occurring during the battle. Barben as you say was in B turret. This loss was due to engineers shutting off the hydraulic supply to the turret ring. They did not know this was the main supply.

Y1 gun has no reason for it's only loss, Y2 and 3 are explained in McMullens report and Y4 is interesting. PoW Y turret opened fire at salvo 9, which as Barben states in his letter the action consisted of the main 18 salvos but not the local control ones. From salvo 9 to 18 as can be seen by your and Dunmunros charts each gun should have fired 5 shells up to salvo 18, but Y4 fired 6?

Is it possible that due to Y1 Y2 Y3 all being out of action at some point and with Y4 loaded only, and available that gun would fire, hence the sixth firing?

Also Y turret jam according to Barben was caused due to a crew member releasing the anti surge stop allowing a shell to roll into the revolving ring during the turn which buckled hinge trays and jammed the ring. Alberto has a good point that between the two reports more info can be found.

Best wishes
Cag.

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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:16 pm

Hi Mr.Cag,
thanks for posting the reasons for the main failures: it would take me too much time to write them and I would be reluctant to give my interpretation of what is written using my words). My understanding is exactly the same as yours and this is why I say that Barben insists on "human errors" while McMullen seems to point more to "technical problems" , as very understandable.... :think:

You are right, I did not check correctly for "Y" turret (gun by gun) figures, happy of having the No.2 and No.3 fitting with McMullen :oops:

It's anyway very surprising that Y4 could fire 6 shells in only 10 semi-salvos....... :think:

Here we need an expert that can tell us whether
1) your hypothesis of No.4 firing 3 times in sequence (before salvo 17 there was quite some time to re-load, but not so much before salvo 18......) can be correct (it would be similar to what would happen when in local control with No.1.....), or
2) Barben was simply wrong in writing 6 here, it should be 5, back in line with McMullen GAR (but than what about the third action ? Did he made another mistake.....I think it's not much probable)

Here the amended gunnery output based on Barben info and your hypothesis (1) above:
PoWfiring_Wilkinson_Barben_1.jpg
PoWfiring_Wilkinson_Barben_1.jpg (88.65 KiB) Viewed 1909 times
Note: in red the "surely" lost shots, in orange the "probable" lost shots, in yellow the "possible/guessed" lost shots, in green the "extra" shot of No.4 gun (and No.1 when in local control)



and the possible scenario (2) with just 5 shots fired by No.4 in "Y" turret (in line with McMullen count) (2):
PoWfiring_Wilkinson_Barben_2.jpg
PoWfiring_Wilkinson_Barben_2.jpg (89.21 KiB) Viewed 1907 times
Note: in red the "surely" lost shots, in orange the "probable" lost shots, in yellow the "possible/guessed" lost shots, in green the "extra" shot No.1 when in local control



Also, how do you interpret the "B" turret problem ? At salvo 16 to 18 (as per my hypothesis), or earlier (when the shell ring (capable of 8 shells, as far as I understand from Wilkinson description) was empty and should have been refilled, therefore around salvo 11 to 14 ?

Bye, Alberto
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Alberto Virtuani » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:40 am

Hi all,
as promised, and in order to investigate at which salvo the "B" turret problem happened, I'm attaching here Mr.Barben account (June 1st, 1941) of it and Mr.Wilkinson comments (contained in his notes that were mailed to Roskill on 1965):
Turret_B_problem.jpg
Turret_B_problem.jpg (43.38 KiB) Viewed 1859 times
Also to be kept in mind, as Mr.Cag suggested, is what McMullen says in his GAR as events happening before the engagement here:
http://www.hmshood.org.uk/reference/off ... 09guns.htm
that could have had an impact on the problem that prevented turret "B" to fire 3 shots during the engagement.

Reading them, it looks like the turret experienced the problem early in the engagement, at latest when the shell ring (capable of 8 shells in turret "B", if I understand correctly Wilkinson description, not reported here) was empty (salvo 11-14 ?) and not at the end (salvo 16-18), as per my hypothesis..... :think:


Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Antonio Bonomi » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:14 am

Hello everybody,

Stephen Roskill archive is a mine of very precious information regarding a lot of topics.

The HMS Prince of Wales firing performances at the Denmark Strait can be very deeply analyzed using all the letters exchanged about this topic between Stephen Roskill and the Vickers responsible for example.

It is obvious that the ship personnel was mainly addressing the responsibilities to the weapon and to Vickers while in the opposite the Vickers was trying to address mainly the responsibilities to the improper utilization of the weapon itself by the personnel.

The truth is probably " in between " those 2 different version of the facts.

Bye Antonio :D
In order to honor a soldier, we have to tell the truth about what happened over there. The whole, hard, cold truth. And until we do that, we dishonor her and every soldier who died, who gave their life for their country. ( Courage Under Fire )

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Re: KGV and PoW GAR during Op. Rheinubung

Post by Cag » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:25 pm

Hi all

Hi Alberto Im still working on this sorry for the delay but its in between ordinary life! I suggest a good book to read is The Big Gun by Peter Hodges, it explains how the KGV class gun turrets worked.

Yes B turret had a shell ring that consisted of 8 shells in total, two shells in trays spaced at 90° points on the ring, the quads had four shell trays per 90° making 16 shells.

The ring would be locked to the ship and independant from the turret and rotated to a position where there were waiting trays which were loaded from the openings of the shell rooms. The rammers would then load these shells from the waiting tray onto the shell ring, which once loaded could then be locked to the turret and rotated independant of the ship to line up with the main central ammo hoist opening in the turret containing the shell cage.

The main central ammo hoist cage could be loaded from the shell ring with any of the sets of two/four shells from the turret ring, and together with the cordite cage would be raised to the transfer room where the two/four shell cordite combinations would then be transferred from the central hoist to two/four individual transfer cages. The central hoist would then be able to be lowered once the transfer interlocks were clear to take further ammo.

These transfer cages would then be moved on rails transversally mounted to line up with the gun loading cages on each gun centre line and the individual shell cordite charges would be rammed into the gun loading cage and once interlock clear raised to the gun breech. Once the transfer interlocks were clear the transfer cages could travel back to the central hoist to receive fresh shells and charges.

Each cage had its own flash doors etc to prevent flash detonation. Each operation from the ramming of shells from the shell rooms to the gun loading cages had interlocks.

As Mr Wilkinson stated the actual turret although really complex thanks to having to make up for lack of gun calibre by mounting more guns, were capable of being made reliable, the problem came when the Admiralty required them being designed produced and mounted and in use asap, hence the in use naval term of teething troubles.

I'll get back to you as regards the turret problems as if you read McMullens report B turret had other turret ring problems just before the battle.

Best wishes
Cag.

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