Repairs in combat

Warship design and construction, terminology, navigation, hydrodynamics, stability, armor schemes, damage control, etc.
Francis Marliere
Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Repairs in combat

Postby Francis Marliere » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:44 am

Gentlemen,

I would like to know if / how / how fast things could be repair while in combat.
I know that USS San Francisco repaired her propulsion while under fire at Komandorsky, but what about turret / barbette, steering, fire control, sensors, etc. damage ? Do you historical examples of a system being repaired quickly in WWII ?

Thanks for any help,

Francis Marliere

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 2882
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:09 pm

It really depends on each individual case and the circumstances surrounding that case. I'll use radar repairs to illustrate this. For example, the Duke of York's Type 273 surface search radar was knocked out of action when a AP shell from Scharnhorst passed through the support structure just below the radar office without exploding. While the action was still going on an officer repaired the antenna mounting bolts restoring the radar to functionality. However, two other shells passed through masts which severed cabling to and from the Type 281 air warning radar antennas. These damages could not be repaired until days later.

On Scharnhorst that same day a 8" shell completely destroyed Scharnhorst's forward FuMO26 and that obviously could not be repaired at sea.

Even the same causal agent to the same sensor type in the same position could result in different circumstances. For example, the Scheer's FuMO27 was affected by shock from the big guns firing during its attack against convoy HX84 so that it was suspected to not register correct ranges, but it could still be used for surface search. It was set right after the action.

On Bismarck the forward FuMO27 set was famously knocked out when BS fired at Norfolk and PG was placed in lead so it could use its foretop FuMO27. BS faulty set was probably back in commission by the 25th -two days later but is not known for sure.

The Hipper's foretop FuMO27 set was knocked out by shock at Barent's Sea but back in action within an hour, and not knocked out again. The Hipper's aft set was down due to a failure of the ships power supply, but not traced down until after the battle was over.

The Luetzow's foretop FuMO27 set in the same battle was not knocked out by shock but was affected by shock of each salvo so that it became difficult for the operator to spot the fall of shot. It was reset and back in action in about five minutes time.

During Barents Sea, Jamaica lost its Type 273 to gunfire shock and it could not be repaired during the battle.

At Casablanca the firecontrol radars of BB59 were knocked out by gun fire shock and "in and out all day long." However, its sister ship, BB57, did not suffer the same faults a week later at Guadalcanal ( but it did later loose its radars to battle damage.)

Washington's radars (all) in the same battle quit registering targets after the shock of the second salvo but were once again working in time to be used in the action vs Kirishima 45 minutes later.

This illustrates a common problem on American warships being momentary loss of power from gunfire shock affecting the radars. The radars with magnetrons had to settle back in and be re-tuned after being shut off, sometimes requiring up to an hour.

New Jersey lost power with every salvo during the bombardment of Mili affecting the SGs and the SK (even though the SK did not use a magnetron). The foretop Mk8 was knocked out by shock and several other firecontrol sets during that same action. These were not repaired until later.

BB64 lost its foretop Mk8 with the shock of the first salvo during the bombardment of Hitachi Works. It could not be repaired during the action. Two Mk4/22 sets were also lost as was the SK and both SGs during this action. The SK was an easy repair after the action just being some sheared bolts.

West Virginia, on the other hand reported, that its Mk8s had never been affected by the shock of its own guns firing.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

Francis Marliere
Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Francis Marliere » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:52 am

Dave,

thanks for your answer. I note that radars could be repaired (albeit not always) in combat.
Anyway do you have information about turrets, engine rooms, boiler rooms, directors, steering gear, etc. ?

Best,

Francis Marliere

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3990
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby alecsandros » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:11 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:Gentlemen,
Do you historical examples of a system being repaired quickly in WWII ?

Thanks for any help,

Francis Marliere

... For what it's worth,

I noticed that in capital ship battles, combat damage was only rarely repaired - probably because of the heavy punch battleships usualy had...

Bismarck easily comes to mind - the holes beneath her waterline and rudder damage were never repaired. Prince of Wales damage also was not repaired - not until getting back to port.

South Dakota's damage at Guadalcanal was also dealt with only when back in port...

User avatar
t-geronimo
Member
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:44 pm

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby t-geronimo » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:21 am

Francis Marliere wrote:Gentlemen,
[...]
I know that USS San Francisco repaired her propulsion while under fire at Komandorsky,
[...]


I guess you are talking about USS Salt Lake City?
USS San Francisco never took part in the ==> Battle of the Komandorski Islands

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 730
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Byron Angel » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:54 pm

Dear Francis,

Here is some material from WW1 -


TURRET CASUALTIES IN WW1 NORTH SEA NAVAL BATTLES



DOGGER BANK

SEYDLITZ
13.5-inch projectile burst in holing 9-inch barbette armor of aftermost turret. Projectile was kept out, but armor fragments entered and set fire to propellant charges. Fire passed through open opened bulkhead door into adjacent super-firing turret setting its propellant afire. Both turrets burnt out and crews largely killed. Both magazines flooded. No hope of repair by damage control.

- - -

LION
Non-penetrating 8.3-inch hit from Blucher struck roof of A turret, putting left gun out of action for 2 hours.

- - -

TIGER
11-inch projectile burst on 3.25-inch roof of Q turret. Fragments of projectile and roof armor entered, jammed the training gear and put the turret out of action.


- - - - - - - - - -


JUTLAND

VON DER TANN
13.5-inch projectile burst in holing 8-inch barbette of fore turret. Projectile was kept out, but a large armor fragment entered and jammed turret. Turret disabled for remainder of battle.

13.5-inch projectile burst in holing 1.2-inch barbette of after turret. Projectile was kept out, but a large armor fragment entered and jammed turret for 3.5 hours. Turret power training and elevating gear and drive for lower hoist knocked out for remainder of battle.

Starboard wing turret broke down due to over-heating of run-out gear for the guns. The right gun of the Port wing turret followed suit shortly thereafter. Both casualties occurred during the “Run to the South” and were not able to be remedied during the battle. Von der Tann was essentially a defenseless ship over the latter half of the battle.

- - -

LION
12-inch SAP projectile struck the join between the 9-inch center face plate and the 3.25-inch root of Q turret. A large fragment of the 9-inch face plate and the projectile entered the turret. Projectile burst inside turret, blowing off front roof plate and center face plate. Entire gunhouse crew killed or wounded. Magazine flooded.

- - -

PRINCESS ROYAL
12-inch projectile from Markgraf hit 9-inch armor of X barbette, propelling a large armor fragment into the gunhouse. Turret jammed by distortion of the barbette armor.

Breech mechanism of the left gun of A turret suffered a mechanical failure. The breech was unable to be opened for eleven hours.

- - -

TIGER
11-inch projectile burst on 3.25-inch front roof plate of Q turret (apparently a favorite target), making a hole approximately 3 x 4 feet and jamming the loading cages of both guns. The loading cage of the left gun was repaired; the right gun was serviced by “secondary loading”.

11-inch projectile hit the 9-inch barbette armor of X turret, breaking off a 27 x 16-inch fragment of armor. Shell entered turret but failed to explode. Miscellaneous damage silenced the turret for 7 minutes, after which it resumed fire with both guns. Turret later found to have been as much as 19 degrees in deviation from proper target bearing due to damage to director circuits.

Right gun of A turret suffered a mechanical failure after 27 rounds and was not able to be repaired until after the battle.

- - -

SEYDLITZ
13.5-inch projectile hit 9-inch barbette armor of aft super-firing turret. Fragments of shell and armor entered, disabling the turret training gear (which had just suffered a mechanical failure on its own), the elevating gear, and the hoists. In addition, a small propellant fire was ignited.

15-inch projectile burst in holing the 10-inch face of the Starboard wing turret. Armor fragments and a few shell fragments entered and damaged the elevating gear of the right gun, which was then able to be moved by coupling it to its companion gun.

15-inch projectile struck right gun of Port wing turret, silencing the gun and disabling the turret director control gear.

DERFFLINGER
15-inch projectile struck sloping front roof plate of Y turret, entered turret and burst on cartridge hoist of right gun. Little mechanical damage but all but one of turret crew were killed.

15-inch projectile pierced 10.25-inch barbette armor of X turret, entered and burst. Resulting propellant fire killed all but 6 of the turret crew.

13.5-inch projectile glanced off the 10.25-inch barbette armor of A turret, “briefly” jamming it.

- - -

LUTZOW
13.5-inch projectile struck 8.75-inch side armor of B turret. Projectile failed to penetrate, but armor holed. Fragments of armor entered, putting the right gun out of action and disabling the left gun for30 minutes.



B

Francis Marliere
Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Francis Marliere » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:58 pm

t-geronimo wrote:I guess you are talking about USS Salt Lake City?


Yes, you're right. I mixed the two cruisers because RADM McMorris was former CO of San Francisco. My bad.

Francis Marliere
Member
Posts: 239
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Francis Marliere » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:08 pm

Byron,

thanks for you detailled answer. I note that turrets could be repaired but it was not usual.

Best,

Francis

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 730
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Byron Angel » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:24 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:Byron,

thanks for you detailled answer. I note that turrets could be repaired but it was not usual.

Best,

Francis



..... My impression is that the effects of full penetrations were not repairable at sea, while the effects of non-penetrating or incomplete penetrations MIGHT be repairable at sea, but unlikely to be possible within the time period of the action itself.

B

User avatar
Dave Saxton
Supporter
Posts: 2882
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Rocky Mountains USA

Re: Repairs in combat

Postby Dave Saxton » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:29 pm

The Hipper's battles with its machinery are interesting.

After Wesserubung Hipper was sent into the artic on a raiding cruise but the engines were not in top shape. The engineering crew, however, was able to nurse the machinery along until Hipper returned to Kiel and thorough refit by making several provisional repairs at sea.

After the refit Hipper made its first attempt to break out into the Atlantic. This had to be aborted because after enccountering very heavy seas; the pounding there from broke an lube oil feed line to one of the turbines. The crew had to de-couple the turbine from the prop so it would not be turning with no oil pressure. On the way back a provisional repair was made allowing the turbine to be used. The provisional repair did not prove satsifactory, however.

Then when it did breakout into the Atlantic a simlar fault ocurred after running into a big storm just south of Iceland. The crew didn't think a repair at sea was possible so KzS Meisel made plans to go to Brest for repairs. Nonetheless, the engineers did make a provisional repair which worked well for weeks allowing Hipper to steam at full speed if required.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.


Return to “Naval Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest