Serious design flaws in King George V class Battleships?

Warship design and construction, terminology, navigation, hydrodynamics, stability, armor schemes, damage control, etc.
alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3986
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

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

Postby alecsandros » Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:40 am

dunmunro wrote:Dido class cruisers sank several RM destroyers in the MTO.

Range ?

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3061
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

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

Postby dunmunro » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:37 am

alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:Dido class cruisers sank several RM destroyers in the MTO.

Range ?


The maximum surface range of a new 5.25in gun was 24070 yds. I can't imagine why you would think that the gun wouldn't be effective at 17500 yds.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3986
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

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

Postby alecsandros » Tue Aug 02, 2016 5:33 am

dunmunro wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
dunmunro wrote:Dido class cruisers sank several RM destroyers in the MTO.

Range ?


The maximum surface range of a new 5.25in gun was 24070 yds. I can't imagine why you would think that the gun wouldn't be effective at 17500 yds.

What was the range of the hits on the Italian destroyers that you mentioned ?

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3061
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

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

Postby dunmunro » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:59 am

alecsandros wrote:What was the range of the hits on the Italian destroyers that you mentioned ?


It's not like I have a full account of every action ever fought.

Here an account of HMS Euryalus engaging the RM at 2nd Sirte:

But first a video:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/our-navy-in-action

At 03:10 the weather conditions of the battle are shown (and possibly Euryalus as well).


...At 2.56, the Euryalus opened fire with "A'' turret:
upon the nearest 8-inch cruiser, which for a few brief
minutes was clearly visible in a gap in the mist. I
obtained several clear range cuts of this cruiser in the
rangefinder eyepiece and I was dismayed to see that the
enemy's turrets were pointed towards Euryalus. The
Euryalus shook as salvoes left the two "A'' turret guns
and once again the acrid smell of cordite filled the range-
finder compartment. The range was about 20,000 yards.
It was extremely difficult to hit a target at that. range and
several of our spotting shots were not even sighted. In
the meantime, a number of 8-inch shells had dropped
close to Euryalus and we had to take avoiding action.
According to my range cuts, the range appeared to be
closing, and at 18,000 yards we opened fire with all the
main armament. I saw a straddle on the enemy cruiser
as she turned away, making smoke which mingled with
the mistiness.
Cleopatra, ahead of Euryalus, was also
firing, and clouds of yellow cordite smoke billowed across
my vision further obscuring the enemy. Soon after 3
p.m., the heavy sea mist came closer and, with the smoke.
screens, completely hid the enemy ships. Our cruisers
turned away into the wind. The Italians had also
turned away and were soon out of sight.

There was now a lull in operations and I took advan-
tage to rest my aching eyes and to wash the salt spray
from the rangefinder lenses. At 3.15, fire was opened
again by Cleopatra and Euryalus as the Italian cruisers
were sighted for a few moments at extreme range. The
low clouds overhead cleared somewhat and, at 3.20, an
aircraft warning was received from radar, and the ship's
armament was divided. The two after-turrets were
under the control of the blue director in anti-aircraft
fire, whilst the three for'ard turrets were still controlled
by the green director in low-angle fire. At 3.25 our
after-turrets and pom-poms opened fire on low-flying
German Ju. 88s which tried to attack the cruisers. Both
gunfire and bombing were very inaccurate due to the
violent sea and wind, and neither side scored any hits. At
3.28, the enemy planes flew off.
Heavy seas were washing down the upper deck as
Euryalus crashed her way towards the Italian fleet at 28
knots. The Cleopatra was ahead of us and Dido and
Penelope were astem. Clouds of stinging spray swept
across the bridge drenching everyone and partly obscur-
ing my View. The destroyers appeared to be submerged
half the time. I saw one of them balanced on a huge
wave, her bow overhanging the trough. With a terrific
lunge she crashed into it in a mass of spray. Her stern
reared into the air and I watched her Propellers thrash
madly and churn up the top of the following wave. She
recovered herself and smashed into yet another wave.
The Euryalus was also pitching very heavily and every
wave caused the ship to shudder.

All contact with the Italian ships had been lost and
our radar was being operated. About 4.40 H.M.S. Zulu
flashed a signal reporting four Italian ships to the north,
east and, a few minutes later, she reported another group
of enemy ships consisting of the Italian battleship
Littun'o, two heavy cruisers and a light cruiser, escorted
by a number of destroyers. One group of ships was only
some nine miles to the north of Zulu, who was ahead of
us. The other Italian ships, including the battleship,
were about fifteen miles to the north-east of us. We put
on high speed and made for the main Italian fleets
Signals fluttered from our flagship, the Cleopatra, and
each ship was flying the white ensign from the mast-head.
The fleet certainly made heavy going at speed through
the heavy seas. Thick black smoke, made deliberately
to hide the convoy and shield ourselves, poured from the
funnels and hid the ship astem as we zigzagged first to
port and then to starboard. At 5 pm. a radar range was
obtained on the Littoria, and ten minutes later the Euryalus
opened fire at 15,000 yards. I saw a good straddle on
the Italian battleship with our second salvo and a few
seconds later, a vivid red flash which I believed to be
hit.


At 5.30, the Littorio, who had been firing at Dido,
shifted her fire to Euryalus and through the rangefinder
I watched her nine 15-inch guns open fire on us. It was
an awful moment as her turrets suddenly became a mass
of flame and smoke and I knew a broadside of 15-inch
shells was coming my way. I felt the hairs on the back
of my head rise and my heart pounded. I continued to
range on her control top, but it was very hard to con-
centrate. The Littorio's third broadside screamed close
overhead and crashed into the sea only some 400 yards
away, I again saw the ripple of red gun flashes spout
from her 15-inch guns and I wondered what I would do
if the cruiser was hit by nine I 5-inch shells each weighing
some 2,000 pounds. However, the broadside fell, with
a terrible "crump," several hundred yards short...
(Sired, Enemy Engaged, pages 23-25.)


Sired was a gunnery control rating and rangefinder operator aboard Euryalus.










"

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3986
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

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

Postby alecsandros » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:06 am

I don't see any hits described per range.

German 150mm secondaries were good out to 14000 meters versus destroyers.

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

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

Postby Steve Crandell » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:45 pm

I know I've read in a USN manual that 18,000 yds was the practical limit of optical spotting of 6" shell splashes.

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3061
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

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

Postby dunmunro » Tue Aug 02, 2016 8:35 pm

Steve Crandell wrote:I know I've read in a USN manual that 18,000 yds was the practical limit of optical spotting of 6" shell splashes.


HMAS Sydney was able to observe her 6in FoS at Cape Spada at 20k yards and scored hits at that range, but at 21k yds, surface haze, smoke and the horizon made spotting very difficult.

Steve Crandell
Senior Member
Posts: 630
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:05 pm

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

Postby Steve Crandell » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:43 am

dunmunro wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:I know I've read in a USN manual that 18,000 yds was the practical limit of optical spotting of 6" shell splashes.


HMAS Sydney was able to observe her 6in FoS at Cape Spada at 20k yards and scored hits at that range, but at 21k yds, surface haze, smoke and the horizon made spotting very difficult.


Obviously it's possible, but at that range a typical cruiser cannot see the base of the splashes from her spotting top, and 6" splashes dissipate more quickly and don't go as high as 8", so it's a difficult problem.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3986
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

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

Postby alecsandros » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:25 am

Steve Crandell wrote:
dunmunro wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:I know I've read in a USN manual that 18,000 yds was the practical limit of optical spotting of 6" shell splashes.


HMAS Sydney was able to observe her 6in FoS at Cape Spada at 20k yards and scored hits at that range, but at 21k yds, surface haze, smoke and the horizon made spotting very difficult.


Obviously it's possible, but at that range a typical cruiser cannot see the base of the splashes from her spotting top, and 6" splashes dissipate more quickly and don't go as high as 8", so it's a difficult problem.

YEs,
AND 6" is not 5.25"

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3061
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

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

Postby dunmunro » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:21 am

alecsandros wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:
Steve Crandell wrote:I know I've read in a USN manual that 18,000 yds was the practical limit of optical spotting of 6" shell splashes.




Obviously it's possible, but at that range a typical cruiser cannot see the base of the splashes from her spotting top, and 6" splashes dissipate more quickly and don't go as high as 8", so it's a difficult problem.

YEs,
AND 6" is not 5.25"


The RF operator of a Dido class cruiser stated that he could see 5.25in shell splashes at 18000 yds but 20k yds was much more difficult. HMAS Sydney, a 6in gunned cruiser stated that she could spot 6in splashes at 20k yds but 21k yds was much more difficult. These differences are about what one would expect based upon the difference in shell weight and size between 6in and 5.25in shells. In any event these are examples from real life.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3986
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

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

Postby alecsandros » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:37 am

... GErman 150mm guns from Scharnhrost and Gneisenau (max range 24,5km - 27000 yards) were used out to 18500meters (20240 yards) against Ardent and Acasta, on radar guidance. However, fire was not effective, for a multitude of reasons, the principal one being that by the time the 150mm shells arived on the spot, the destroyers were long, long time in a different position (and course).

Ultimately the commander on board Gneisenau communicated "I will not tolerate more wastage of ammunition". In total , S&G consumed ~ 1100 x 150mm shells in almost 2 hours of firing. Probable number of hits between 12 to 16, with ranges of hits:
1 at 14000meters
all others between 8000 to 12000 meters.

There are very numerous examples of secondary artillery used during the war, agaist a variety of targets, with the conclusion that effective secondary artillery range was 50% of max ballistic range of gun.

Harry Lime
Junior Member
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:21 pm

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

Postby Harry Lime » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:47 am

What is the source that says HMAS Sydney scored hits at 20,000 yards at Cape Sparda?

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3061
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

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

Postby dunmunro » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:19 pm

Harry Lime wrote:What is the source that says HMAS Sydney scored hits at 20,000 yards at Cape Sparda?


Battle Summary 8:

at 0826 the enemy ships, steering 090°, were sighted bearing
188°, range 23,000 yards, about 20° before the starboard beam, and three
minutes later the Sydney opened fire on the Bande Nere at a range of 20,000 yards.
The gun flashes were seen away on the port beam o f the Hyperion and at 0832
the Sydney and Havock could be seen bearing 290° 10 miles— a welcome sight.
Commander Nicolson by then steering 020° at once altered course, first to 240°
then to 260° and formed the division in line ahead.1 The enemy cruisers,
then 17,400 yards distant, were by that time steaming fast to the south-eastward
making heavy black smoke, and at 0836 the Hyperion led round to 170°, in
order to get to a position of torpedo advantage on their bow....

For a minute, at 0901, the Sydney checked fire while she shifted target again
to the Bande Nere. When this ship, at 0908, again became obscured by smoke,
fire was shifted back again to the Colleoni then bearing 210°, range 18,500
yards. At 0915 the Sydney altered course 30° to starboard to open her “ A ”
arcs, and it was soon evident that her fire was having considerable effect.
With the range down to 17,500 yards at 0919, the Sydney also came under an
accurate fire, receiving her only hit at 0921. This projectile, bursting on the
foremost funnel, blew a hole about three feet square in the casings, causing
minor damage to three boats and some fittings, but only one slight casualty.
Throughout the chase the destroyers steaming at 32 knots had made every
effort to reduce the range, but until 0918, when the range of the Colleoni was
down to 17,000 yards and closing rapidly, they were unable to do so.
21. The Sinking of the Bartolomeo Colleoni
At 0923 the Colleoni was seen to be stopped...

22. Chase of the Bande Nere
Meanwhile the Bande Nere, after passing between the island of Pondiko Nisi
and the Cretan mainland, at 0945 bore 192° at a range of 20,000 yards from
the Sydney. At 0950 the Italian received a second hit; a shell penetrated the
quarter deck and exploded on a bulkhead, killing four and wounding 12
ratings. But ammunition in “ A ” and “ B ” turrets was running low and
the Sydney checked fire; the Bande Nere, however, continued firing her after
guns, the shots from which fell consistently 300 yards away on the Sydney’s
quarter. At 0955 Captain Collins repeated his signal to Commander Nicolson
to finish off the Colleoni and rejoin him, and three minutes later reopened fire
on the Bande Nere, still 20,000 yards distant, but checked fire again at 1011 .
By this time the range was increasing and the visibility o f the target and the
fall of shot becoming more indistinct. A final couple of salvoes at 1022, range
21,000 yards, could not be observed; the Mediterranean haze combined with
the enemy’s smoke had rendered spotting impossible. The Sydney then had...



Sydney fought the battle at long range and crippled the Bartolomeo Colleoni at ~18k yds.

alecsandros
Senior Member
Posts: 3986
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:33 pm
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Contact:

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

Postby alecsandros » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:52 pm

If this is about the 2nd battle for Sirte,
It is interesting to note that the Italian accounts mention Banda Nere firing at ranges between 12000 to 18000 yards versus the enemy cruisers, and consuming over >1000 rounds of 6" shells, for one claimed hit...

dunmunro
Senior Member
Posts: 3061
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:25 am
Location: Langley BC Canada

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

Postby dunmunro » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:19 am

alecsandros wrote:If this is about the 2nd battle for Sirte,
It is interesting to note that the Italian accounts mention Banda Nere firing at ranges between 12000 to 18000 yards versus the enemy cruisers, and consuming over >1000 rounds of 6" shells, for one claimed hit...


Yes, that's why the RM lost.


Return to “Naval Technology”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest