Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

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jpatrick62
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Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby jpatrick62 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:24 pm

In "DEATH OF A BATTLESHIP, THE LOSS OF HMS PRINCE OF WALES" Marine Forensics Analysis of the Sinking Garzke, Dulin and Denlay put together the latest information on dives to the Prince of Wales (2012) and claim that serous design flaws in the King George V class Battleships may have led to her demise. Specifically, the centerline machinery space bulkheads may have been a factor:


Centerline machinery space bulkheads were incorporated to enhance survivability, but such subdivision actually decreases it. Although smaller machinery spaces can limit the amount of flooding, this advantage is more than offset by the effects of off center flooding, leading to devastating lists. A survey of damage to World War II Japanese cruisers, which had centerline bulkheads in their machinery spaces, noted they behaved very poorly when they sustained damage on one side. Only one ship managed to limp back for repairs, while sixteen others capsized and sank. The decision to use centerline bulkheads in the King George V Class was a serious design flaw. American and French designers avoided centerline bulkheads like the plague in their contemporary battleship designs, opting for large machinery spaces that would flood without creating damaging lists. It was not until the design of the battleships of the proposed Montana Class (BB67-71) with beams of 122 feet (37.2 meters) that the U.S. Navy would accept longitudinal bulkheads in their machinery spaces. Prince of Wales and her sisters were too small to tolerate extensive longitudinal bulkheads.

The torpedo defense system also comes in for some design criticism:

The torpedo defense system in way of “B” Turret performed well, with one exception. Part of the gas jet from the torpedo explosion did vent into the Seamen’s Mess Deck over the impact area near Frame 109. Unlike American warships of that period which were fitted with the same type of sandwich torpedo protection, the British system was unable to contain the explosion completely within the system. American battleships had a void over the system that was designed to contain structural debris or prevent the gas jet from reaching spaces within the ship. USS North Carolina was the only new American battleship tested in combat by a torpedo – a Japanese Type 95 submarine torpedo, with an explosive charge of 405-kilograms that exceeded the explosive force that the system was designed to defeat. Despite being of riveted construction, the American system performed rather well.

In fact, it appears that, although struck by 3 torpedoes in all, the first hit near the stern propeller area would have ultimately sunk the ship no matter what else had happened. The 2012 update to this document makes for some very interesting reading, and I believe you can still get it online.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby dunmunro » Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:39 pm

jpatrick62 wrote:In "DEATH OF A BATTLESHIP, THE LOSS OF HMS PRINCE OF WALES" Marine Forensics Analysis of the Sinking Garzke, Dulin and Denlay put together the latest information on dives to the Prince of Wales (2012) and claim that serous design flaws in the King George V class Battleships may have led to her demise. Specifically, the centerline machinery space bulkheads may have been a factor:


Centerline machinery space bulkheads were incorporated to enhance survivability, but such subdivision actually decreases it. Although smaller machinery spaces can limit the amount of flooding, this advantage is more than offset by the effects of off center flooding, leading to devastating lists. A survey of damage to World War II Japanese cruisers, which had centerline bulkheads in their machinery spaces, noted they behaved very poorly when they sustained damage on one side. Only one ship managed to limp back for repairs, while sixteen others capsized and sank. The decision to use centerline bulkheads in the King George V Class was a serious design flaw. American and French designers avoided centerline bulkheads like the plague in their contemporary battleship designs, opting for large machinery spaces that would flood without creating damaging lists. It was not until the design of the battleships of the proposed Montana Class (BB67-71) with beams of 122 feet (37.2 meters) that the U.S. Navy would accept longitudinal bulkheads in their machinery spaces. Prince of Wales and her sisters were too small to tolerate extensive longitudinal bulkheads.

The torpedo defense system also comes in for some design criticism:

The torpedo defense system in way of “B” Turret performed well, with one exception. Part of the gas jet from the torpedo explosion did vent into the Seamen’s Mess Deck over the impact area near Frame 109. Unlike American warships of that period which were fitted with the same type of sandwich torpedo protection, the British system was unable to contain the explosion completely within the system. American battleships had a void over the system that was designed to contain structural debris or prevent the gas jet from reaching spaces within the ship. USS North Carolina was the only new American battleship tested in combat by a torpedo – a Japanese Type 95 submarine torpedo, with an explosive charge of 405-kilograms that exceeded the explosive force that the system was designed to defeat. Despite being of riveted construction, the American system performed rather well.

In fact, it appears that, although struck by 3 torpedoes in all, the first hit near the stern propeller area would have ultimately sunk the ship no matter what else had happened. The 2012 update to this document makes for some very interesting reading, and I believe you can still get it online.


PoW was sunk by the cumulative effect of 4 torpedo hits, a bomb hit, and several near misses.

PoW had a mix of centre-line bulkheads along with longitudinal subdivision of her machinery spaces. It is possible that off centre flooding was a factor in PoW's loss, but OTOH, if PoW had undivided machinery spaces, as per a USN battleship, the damage to B prop shaft alone would have resulted in the immediate flooding of three of her 4 (if undivided) machinery spaces via the damaged prop shaft, leaving her even more damaged than was historically the case from the first hit.

The French battleship Dunkerque, at Oran, was completely disabled by two 15in hits to her machinery spaces showing the extreme vulnerability of such an arrangement. Jordan and Dumas (French Battleships) state:

"The two shells which hit amidships, piercing the main 225mm armour belt were decisive. Within seconds Dunkerque could neither fight nor run; beaching was the only possible outcome..." Dunkerque could have continued to steam and fight if she had been fitted with a KGV style machinery arrangement.

G&D's statement regarding the KGV class SPS (side protection system) being unable to contain the force of a torpedo explosion within the TDS is just complete and utter nonsense. KGV's SPS was designed to vent upward into a non essential space provided for exactly that reason, and the system performed exactly as designed. North Carolina's TDS, OTOH resulted in the STS steel deck above the TDS voids being completely destroyed (there was no void above the TDS)and it allowed gas venting, from the explosion, to reach North Carolina's magazines, where it could have potentially resulted in the loss of the ship. G&D's statement regarding NC's torpedo hit is completely contradicted by their own book on USN battleships, so I'm at a loss as to how they could have made such a statement. Unfortunately G&D never seem to have missed an opportunity to be critical of the KGV class.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:03 pm

dunmunro,

You state that a hit on a US battleship similar to the shaft hit on Pow would result in the flooding of 3 engineering spaces. You don't know that; that is only your opinion. US ships had shaft casualties during the war similar to that experienced by PoW, and the shaft was stopped and locked in position so it didn't result in the loss of the ship. The shaft was restarted on PoW because the officer responsible was unable to tell what had happened to it; a situation that would not exist on a US ship.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby dunmunro » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:46 am

Steve Crandell wrote:dunmunro,

You state that a hit on a US battleship similar to the shaft hit on Pow would result in the flooding of 3 engineering spaces. You don't know that; that is only your opinion. US ships had shaft casualties during the war similar to that experienced by PoW, and the shaft was stopped and locked in position so it didn't result in the loss of the ship. The shaft was restarted on PoW because the officer responsible was unable to tell what had happened to it; a situation that would not exist on a US ship.


PoW's 'B' ER OIC, didn't know the extent of the damage to B prop shaft and shouldn't have restarted the shaft before verifying that it was intact. PoW suffered a power and communications failure due to the hit (not an uncommon occurrence USN battleships) , but the OIC should have ordered a physical inspection prior to starting the shaft. In similar circumstances, a USN engineer OIC could have caused the same damage by restarting the shaft.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby alecsandros » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:35 am

And nothing on the jamming of the main battery ? Or in lack of redundancy (reserve) power for secondary and AA guns ?
Main command position (forward and aft) vulnerable to light cruiser fire ?

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby dunmunro » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:07 am

alecsandros wrote:And nothing on the jamming of the main battery ? Or in lack of redundancy (reserve) power for secondary and AA guns ?
Main command position (forward and aft) vulnerable to light cruiser fire ?


This is a bit off topic.

Lots of battleships had problems with their main armament; the KGV class was not unique in having turret/gun problems.
The KGV class had no lack of reserve electrical power but PoW lost 5 of 8 generators in the minutes following the 1st hit. PoW lost the circuits needed to feed power to much of the rear half of ship but damage control teams were close to restoring power to key systems before she sank.

The KGV class didn't waste hundreds of tons of displacement on useless heavily armoured CTs.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby alecsandros » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:28 am

dunmunro wrote:
alecsandros wrote:And nothing on the jamming of the main battery ? Or in lack of redundancy (reserve) power for secondary and AA guns ?
Main command position (forward and aft) vulnerable to light cruiser fire ?


This is a bit off topic.

Lots of battleships had problems with their main armament; the KGV class was not unique in having turret/gun problems.
The KGV class had no lack of reserve electrical power but PoW lost 5 of 8 generators in the minutes following the 1st hit. PoW lost the circuits needed to feed power to much of the rear half of ship but damage control teams were close to restoring power to key systems before she sank.

The KGV class didn't waste hundreds of tons of displacement on useless heavily armoured CTs.


... That "others had flaws also" doesn't mean KGV did not have flaws.

In terms of effective output drop, KGV suffered the most serious breakdowns of all WW2 battleships - in action with Bismarck.

---

KGV class had 2.7 Mega-Watts electrical system capacity , compared to 7.8 MW Bismarck, 10.2 MW Iowa...

After the initial torpedo hit, 90% of PRince of Wales AA artillery remained without electrical power.

Heavily armoured con towers had their price, but it made the ship's command positions safe from DD and CL fire, something KGV (and Vanguard) designs weren't.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby dunmunro » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:26 am

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
alecsandros wrote:And nothing on the jamming of the main battery ? Or in lack of redundancy (reserve) power for secondary and AA guns ?
Main command position (forward and aft) vulnerable to light cruiser fire ?


This is a bit off topic.

Lots of battleships had problems with their main armament; the KGV class was not unique in having turret/gun problems.
The KGV class had no lack of reserve electrical power but PoW lost 5 of 8 generators in the minutes following the 1st hit. PoW lost the circuits needed to feed power to much of the rear half of ship but damage control teams were close to restoring power to key systems before she sank.

The KGV class didn't waste hundreds of tons of displacement on useless heavily armoured CTs.


... That "others had flaws also" doesn't mean KGV did not have flaws.

In terms of effective output drop, KGV suffered the most serious breakdowns of all WW2 battleships - in action with Bismarck.

---

KGV class had 2.7 Mega-Watts electrical system capacity , compared to 7.8 MW Bismarck, 10.2 MW Iowa...

After the initial torpedo hit, 90% of PRince of Wales AA artillery remained without electrical power.

Heavily armoured con towers had their price, but it made the ship's command positions safe from DD and CL fire, something KGV (and Vanguard) designs weren't.


KGV fired 335 rounds at Bismarck, while Rodney fired 380, IIRC, so the variation between them wasn't that great.

As I stated KGV used far more hydraulic and steam power than most other battleships, including Bismarck, so she didn't need nearly as much electrical power. After the torpedo hit, power was lost to the rear half of the ship but power was restored to the forward half including the forward 5.25in guns and emergency power was in the process of being run to the port rear 5.25in turrets, and other key areas prior to the final torpedo attacks and final bomb hit.

Give me one example of a WW1/2 battleship that was saved by having a heavily armoured CT.

Scharnhorst might have escaped if she had had her CT removed and the ship lightened forward by hundreds of tons.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby alecsandros » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:56 am

dunmunro wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
This is a bit off topic.

Lots of battleships had problems with their main armament; the KGV class was not unique in having turret/gun problems.
The KGV class had no lack of reserve electrical power but PoW lost 5 of 8 generators in the minutes following the 1st hit. PoW lost the circuits needed to feed power to much of the rear half of ship but damage control teams were close to restoring power to key systems before she sank.

The KGV class didn't waste hundreds of tons of displacement on useless heavily armoured CTs.


... That "others had flaws also" doesn't mean KGV did not have flaws.

In terms of effective output drop, KGV suffered the most serious breakdowns of all WW2 battleships - in action with Bismarck.

---

KGV class had 2.7 Mega-Watts electrical system capacity , compared to 7.8 MW Bismarck, 10.2 MW Iowa...

After the initial torpedo hit, 90% of PRince of Wales AA artillery remained without electrical power.

Heavily armoured con towers had their price, but it made the ship's command positions safe from DD and CL fire, something KGV (and Vanguard) designs weren't.


KGV fired 335 rounds at Bismarck, while Rodney fired 380, IIRC, so the variation between them wasn't that great.

As I stated KGV used far more hydraulic and steam power than most other battleships, including Bismarck, so she didn't need nearly as much electrical power. After the torpedo hit, power was lost to the rear half of the ship but power was restored to the forward half including the forward 5.25in guns and emergency power was in the process of being run to the port rear 5.25in turrets, and other key areas prior to the final torpedo attacks and final bomb hit.

Give me one example of a WW1/2 battleship that was saved by having a heavily armoured CT.

Scharnhorst might have escaped if she had had her CT removed and the ship lightened forward by hundreds of tons.


Ah, don't get me wrong,
is not as if somebody had the perfect battleship somewhere and I'm judging the others by those standards. Bismarck had her share of faults, South Dakkota plenty, Richelieu - to many to count.

As far as KGV history goes, at least in the early war , they did suffer quad turret jams while in the middle of heavy turns, and this robbed them of significant firepower. In Bismarck's last battle, Rodney suffered her fair share of turret breakdowns, so I don't know if it's proper to compare KGV with her. A more interesting comparison would be with HMS Duke of York , which fired 446 rounds in about the same amount of time as KGV fired 339... Of course, the conditions wre not the same, Duke of York's firing was not hampered by other battleship's smoke, etc. But it was a storm, and the Duke was firing on a retreating enemy...

---

My opinion is that having enough reserve power can help in difficult situations. Prince of Wales was robbed of most of her AA firepower for some good time. Compare the electrical situation of artillery of Prince of WAles 10/Dec/1941 with that of Bismarck 26/May/1941.

---

Heavily armoured Con towers were usefull when fighintg destroyers and cruisers, and when fighintg battleships at long range (long enough to exclude penetration of the conning tower). They would have been probably usefull if battleships fought more battles in the war. But they didn't.

---

LATER EDIT:
On closer examination, I found KGV to have fired between 8:50 and 10:16 vs Bismarck (86 minutes), implying an average of 339 / 86 = 3.94 shots per minute (but I do not know if fire was continous in the interval, and it probably wasn't)

DoY on the other hand fired between 16:47 and 18:22 against Scharnhorst (96 minutes), followed by a second firing time between 19:01 and 19:28 (27 minutes). That's a total of 123 minutes, mostly continous fire, for 446 rounds fired (mostly on a end-on target, using only the forward 6 main guns).

The average works at 3.63 shots per minute, but again, for about 2/3 of the engagement, Duke of York could only use her forward main guns.

So I consider her main armament output as better than KGV's (which had all 10 guns available to fire for most of the engagement with Bismarck)...

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby jpatrick62 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:44 am

PoW was sunk by the cumulative effect of 4 torpedo hits, a bomb hit, and several near misses.

You didn't read the article, did you? The Marine Forensics Analysis conducted Garzke, Dulin and Denlay were put together information by actual dives to the Prince of Wales, not textbook conjecture or armchair design analysts. I should point out that these dives were extensive in nature, and I should think their conclusions to be more informative and better received because of this, but no worries. Their conclusion was NOT that cumulative effects of torpedo damage killed the POV, but that the initial torpedo damage would have been enough. Further, their issues with centerline bulkheads were bore out by extensive study of damage to warships in WW2. As previously pointer out, Japanese cruisers, which had centerline bulkheads in their machinery spaces, behaved very poorly when they sustained damage on one side - 16 of 17 capsized and sank - damning results indeed. As for the North Carolina torpedo damage, it should be pointed out that the explosive power of a submarine torpedo was much higher than the air launched variety, and that NC shrugged off the damage and returned to combat duties and speed rather quickly, whereas the POV simply did not. The first torpedo was the death rattler, the rest of the hits merely hastened the verdict.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby dunmunro » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:11 am

jpatrick62 wrote:PoW was sunk by the cumulative effect of 4 torpedo hits, a bomb hit, and several near misses.

You didn't read the article, did you? The Marine Forensics Analysis conducted Garzke, Dulin and Denlay were put together information by actual dives to the Prince of Wales, not textbook conjecture or armchair design analysts. I should point out that these dives were extensive in nature, and I should think their conclusions to be more informative and better received because of this, but no worries. Their conclusion was NOT that cumulative effects of torpedo damage killed the POV, but that the initial torpedo damage would have been enough. Further, their issues with centerline bulkheads were bore out by extensive study of damage to warships in WW2. As previously pointer out, Japanese cruisers, which had centerline bulkheads in their machinery spaces, behaved very poorly when they sustained damage on one side - 16 of 17 capsized and sank - damning results indeed. As for the North Carolina torpedo damage, it should be pointed out that the explosive power of a submarine torpedo was much higher than the air launched variety, and that NC shrugged off the damage and returned to combat duties and speed rather quickly, whereas the POV simply did not. The first torpedo was the death rattler, the rest of the hits merely hastened the verdict.


I certainly did read the article. but I've read enough other articles and damage reports to know when mistakes are being made. In any event in their 2009 paper G&D certainly didn't state that PoW would have sunk from the first hit alone:

page 22:
"...These three starboard torpedo hits were decisive because they negated all the damage control efforts to set a flooding boundary in the stern. The list at the time of these torpedo hits was reduced from nine to three degrees, but the draft of the ship increased significantly, especially aft, leading to uncontrollable progressive flooding..."

and on page 43:
"Thus, those last six near misses and the one bomb hit produced flooding that was enough to erode away the last bit of stability that might have kept the vessel afloat. The Torpedo hits had reduced the ship's survivability, but the bomb attack was the coup de grace."


and no new information came to light that would have changed these conclusions in their 2012 paper and I strongly disagree with the 2012 paper's conclusions. PoW was recovering from the 1st torpedo hit; she had established a flooding boundary, and was in the process of restoring power to the aft end of the ship when the subsequent 3 more torpedo hits, 6 near misses and one 1100lb bomb hit caused her sinking.

I have done my own studies of the pros and cons of centreline and longitudinal subdivsion of battleships, and I cited an example previously how a French battleship was disabled by only two 15in hits, due to the lack of sufficient subdivision.

in their 2012 paper G&D, on page 61 state:

A survey of damage to World War II Japanese cruisers, which had centerline bulkheads in their machinery spaces, noted they behaved very poorly when they sustained damage on one side. Only one ship managed to limp back for repairs, while sixteen others capsized and sank.


It sounds very convincing, but it's just not true! Many IJN cruisers survived UW damage on one side! I don't know how they could have made such a statement. Here's just a few examples:

Atago 5 Nov 1943 survived 3 near miss bomb hits on the port side

Aoba 24 Oct 1944 survived a starboard torpedo hit.

Takao 23 OCt 1944 survived two starboard side torpedo hits.

Myoko 24 Oct survived a starboard side torpedo hit

Myoko 17 Dec 1944 survived a port side torpedo hit. (all data from Lacroix all torpedos had 300kg torpex warheads)

Many IJN cruisers with centreline subdivision survived one or more torpedo hits or bomb hits/near misses to one side of the ship, but inevitably cruisers or even battleships will succumb if hit enough times.

NC didn't "shrug off" the damage. She was able to maintain station briefly but quickly had to reduce speed to 18 knots to reduce pressure on her bulkheads and returned to PH ASAP for repairs:

O
n 19 September, NORTH CAROLINA anchored at Nukualofa, Tonga-Tabu where VESTAL made the following repairs:

(a) Removed protruding lips of shell plating by underwater cutting in way of hole made by torpedo.

(b) After trimming the ship seven feet by the stern, installed a cofferdam around starboard door and then pumped out A-310L for the removal of four bodies and for repairs to pipe lines and bulkhead boundaries to prevent further flooding.

(c) Provided additional shoring for bulkheads adjacent to flooded areas.

After completion of these repairs on 21 September, the Commanding Officer reported the ship capable of a sustained speed of 18 kts. and a maximum speed of 24 kts. for short periods only, due to the stress against shored bulkheads.

. NORTH CAROLINA then proceeded to Pearl Harbor Navy Yard for accomplishment of permanent repairs...

...SECTION IV - ESTIMATE OF EFFECT OF DAMAGE ON FIGHTING EFFICIENCY

IV-1. Reference (a) estimated that the fighting efficiency of the ship was affected as follows:

(a) Sustained speed of the ship reduced to 18 kts., although speeds up to 24 kts. could be made for brief periods without straining the shored bulkheads to such a degree that reduction in speed would be necessary.

(b) Fuel capacity reduced by 150,000 gallons.

(c) Armored protection reduced by:

(1) Water taken into the ship.

(2) Ruptures in No. 5 torpedo bulkhead between frames 43 and 48, port.

(3) Ruptured area of third deck at frame 45, port.

(4) Ruptures in lower boundaries of No. 5 torpedo bulkhead extension above third deck at frame 45, port.

(d) Turret I lower structure weakened so that the turret should be fired only under gravest need.

(e) Considerably increased vibration noted in fire control instruments in Fire Control and forward towers.

(f) Search antenna foundation weakened structurally to such an extent that it would be put out of commission by a relatively slight shock. (all above from post-war BuShips damage report.)


so in no way was BB-55 combat ready after her torpedo hit. Had that torpedo hit aft or amidships, it would have caused very severe damage there as well - her captain in his report from Sept 1942 estimated that it would have flooded one or two machinery spaces (losing 1 or two turbines and 2 or 4 boilers in the process) had it struck amidships and he was generally unsatisfied with BB-55's underwater protection. According to BB-55's war diary she averaged about 14 knots enroute to Tonga-Tabu and about the same speed enroute from there to Pearl Harbor.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby jpatrick62 » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:25 pm

A new book out by Dr. Stephen Martin entitled "Scapegoat: the death of Prince of Wales and Repulse" reiterates the claims of the naval engineers that have actually visited the gravesite of both warships. Martin's purpose is admittedly to exonerate Admiral Sir Tom Phillips of the Royal Navy for the catastrophe that resulted when both ships were sunk, but he added that POV had poor watertight trunking control in addition to the other flaws that exacerbated the ability of the crew to save the ship, in addition to woeful ventilation that the admiralty knew about. I tend to believe the engineers that actually visited the gravesite (and dove into the wreck) over historical authors and commenters, but the issue of centerline bulkheads has been addressed by multiple experts in the naval forces at the time, and in this case by no other than the Japanese navy. Captain Hiraga of the IJN opposed the design for IJN cruisers because "a hit could cause fast and dangerous lists and increase the risk of capsizing." The book "Japanese Cruiser of the Pacific War", authored by Eric Lacroix and Linton Wells expands on this stating that IJN naval authorities knew of the risks but thought they could be mitigated by efficient counter-flooding that in practice did not work as well. Oyodo was a ligh cruiser in the IJN that had the centerline bulkhead found in many Japanese warships, and fears that this bulkhead was counterproductive were realized on 28-29 July 1945 at Kure. Very near misses from aircraft flooded the starboard machinery spaces and capsized the ship before counterflooding could take effect. Of course, not just the IJN, but the Russianand Italian navy too late recognized the danger of centerline bulkheads in regards to fast flooding and capsizing as well.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby dunmunro » Tue Aug 18, 2015 9:01 pm

jpatrick62 wrote:A new book out by Dr. Stephen Martin entitled "Scapegoat: the death of Prince of Wales and Repulse" reiterates the claims of the naval engineers that have actually visited the gravesite of both warships. Martin's purpose is admittedly to exonerate Admiral Sir Tom Phillips of the Royal Navy for the catastrophe that resulted when both ships were sunk, but he added that POV had poor watertight trunking control in addition to the other flaws that exacerbated the ability of the crew to save the ship, in addition to woeful ventilation that the admiralty knew about. I tend to believe the engineers that actually visited the gravesite (and dove into the wreck) over historical authors and commenters, but the issue of centerline bulkheads has been addressed by multiple experts in the naval forces at the time, and in this case by no other than the Japanese navy. Captain Hiraga of the IJN opposed the design for IJN cruisers because "a hit could cause fast and dangerous lists and increase the risk of capsizing." The book "Japanese Cruiser of the Pacific War", authored by Eric Lacroix and Linton Wells expands on this stating that IJN naval authorities knew of the risks but thought they could be mitigated by efficient counter-flooding that in practice did not work as well. Oyodo was a ligh cruiser in the IJN that had the centerline bulkhead found in many Japanese warships, and fears that this bulkhead was counterproductive were realized on 28-29 July 1945 at Kure. Very near misses from aircraft flooded the starboard machinery spaces and capsized the ship before counterflooding could take effect. Of course, not just the IJN, but the Russianand Italian navy too late recognized the danger of centerline bulkheads in regards to fast flooding and capsizing as well.


I provided you with numerous examples of IJN cruisers surviving UW damage to one side of the ships and I stated that the data was drawn from Lacroix (and Wells, but I assumed that was evident). As I stated, any cruiser can be overwhelmed as Oyodo was at the end, by numerous hits and near misses as Lacroix clearly states, but lacroix also states that Oyodo survived UW damage to one side on several prior occasions.

The IJN preferred to use centreline and longitudinal subdivision because it made their ships more damage resistant, and it's pretty obvious that their cruisers did survive serious UW damage to one side on many occasions, but given the overwhelming might of the USN and Allied navies and airforces it was inevitable that most IJN ships would be sunk regardless of their method of machinery space subdivision.

Martin's book is so riddled with errors that it's almost unreadable.

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Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby Kev D » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:49 am

Pardon for resurrecting this old thread and coming back on board, but just stumbled upon the last few posts again, so although had meant to comment earlier when I first saw them, what almost a years ago, some input is better late than never re following I suppose.

So first to a comment by “Dunmunro” aka Duncan.

dunmunro wrote:“…………………………………. I strongly disagree with the 2012 paper's conclusions. PoW was recovering from the 1st torpedo hit; she had established a flooding boundary, and was in the process of restoring power to the aft end of the ship when the subsequent 3 more torpedo hits, 6 near misses and one 1100lb bomb hit caused her sinking.”


Duncan, with all due respect, given that the water was literally lapping at the heels of Wildish, the last man out of his Engine Room when he exited said engine room through an overhead hatchway, so match so that he had trouble dogging the hatch - and I surely don’t have to spell out what that means in the grand scheme of things - PoW was lost from the beginning, the rest was just icing on the cake. Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, but it certainly doesn’t jell with the majority of conclusions.

Second to comments by jpatrick62.

jpatrick62 wrote:A new book out by Dr. Stephen Martin entitled "Scapegoat: the death of Prince of Wales and Repulse" reiterates the claims of the naval engineers that have actually visited the gravesite of both warships. .........................................................I tend to believe the engineers that actually visited the gravesite (and dove into the wreck) over historical authors and commenters..............................................


First let me correct the now underlined above, no naval engineers, or engineers of any sort where on any of the survey expeditions / dives we conducted, just very very experienced wreck surveying closed circuit rebreather divers, with many many wreck survey expeditions under their collective belt. The naval engineers, etc, just dissected our survey reports and photos, videos, etc, after the expeditions.

And re Stephens ‘Scapegoat’, even though I alerted him to both the actual survey paper and subsequent analysis papers while his book was still in progress - hence he had access to the latest info on the wreck, and later even claimed he referred to our ‘paper’ to get the latest findings - IIRC he actually used all the old dis-proven claims of the number of torp hits and where they were, etc. Go Figure!

Must say I can’t remember now exactly all the errors o where they were, as read it right on publication some years ago, and there’s been an awful lot of water – read books – under the bridge since then. But as Duncan says “Martin's book is so riddled with errors that it's almost unreadable.” And I fully agree there!

Well, I'll hand it back over you gents again for a while now - I just wanted to clarify those few points - as I have a bunch of accumulated shore leave up my sleeve and, well, I intend to go right back to using it, as opposed to hanging around on board - pun intended ;-)
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941

Kev D
Member
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:27 am

Re: Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Postby Kev D » Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:49 am

I'll just come back on board for a moment just to say one last thing and that is: It was very fortuitous that we did our survey's in the years when we did. Today, well some time ago actually, the 'key' to discovering that the outer port shaft was actually broken somewhere up the shaft tunnel - was removed from the wreck - and hence that clue is no longer visible on the wreck. As a matter if fact none of the prop shafts are there any more. And without that initial clue being pointed out to us post our first survey, we may never have bothered penetrating that out port shaft tunnel.

(It was the author / historian John Roberts who first noticed and alerted us to the fact that there was an internal flange on the external length of the already propellerless outer port shaft which shouldn't have been 'out there' (that one prop had bee 'missing' since it broke off in 1941). This in turn lead us to take a look inside the tunnel - just to see just what was going on 'in there' and why that external piece of shaft and flange was now 'out there', i.e. outside the tunnel. Low and behold what a sight met our eyes, as the series of pictures taken inside said tunnel and published in the paper attest to; the bolts had sheared on that shaft on every flange bar one all the way to and including the 'reduction box' on the wall of B engine room, and large sections of shaft 'pulled' aft!)

So it's lucky we got in and did those several cumulative surveys in the years when we did or there would be no survey paper or subsequent anylasis paper, as its too late now to survey anything back aft; its all gone bar the rudder; so thanks again John for being so 'eagle eyed'! :whistle:

Anyway, the following two short videos, especially the first, shows the now naked stern of PoW. Be warned, be prepared for a shock!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD96FgKghMk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPd0nsH-7Wc
We are off to look for trouble. I expect we shall find it.” Capt. Tennant. HMS Repulse. Dec. 8 1941


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