KGV Class Battleships

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RF
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KGV Class Battleships

Postby RF » Mon Oct 09, 2006 7:26 am

Given the problem with quadruple gun turrets on the KGV class battleships is there any reason for the arrangement of the A and B turrets, one four gun and one two gun, when alternatively they both could have been triple turrets?
The four gun and two gun arrangement seems odd.

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Re: KGV class

Postby Tiornu » Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:09 am

The switch of B turret from a quad (as originally intended) to a twin came as a weight-saving measure to free up more tonnage for protection.

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Re: KGV class

Postby yellowtail3 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:37 pm

RF wrote:Given the problem with quadruple gun turrets on the KGV class battleships is there any reason for the arrangement of the A and B turrets, one four gun and one two gun, when alternatively they both could have been triple turrets?
The four gun and two gun arrangement seems odd.

yes - one more turret to design, taking more time and more $$$ (or pounds, I suppose...)
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Re: KGV class

Postby Karl Heidenreich » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:54 pm

RF:

Raven & Roberts explain it real well in their book on British battleships. It all goes down to the Treaties and trying to balance the design in the late 30ies. It is explained in the Bismarck and her contemporaries thread but it goes with the displacement. I will review later and send a better answer.

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Re: KGV class

Postby RNfanDan » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:08 pm

yellowtail3 wrote:yes - one more turret to design, taking more time and more $$$ (or pounds, I suppose...)


There was really very little in the way of "new design" for B. The intention was to have three quadruple turrets for a 12-gun battleship. In the end, however the final displacement was over treaty limits, so B turret was reduced to a two-gun mounting to help nip it back under.
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Re: KGV class

Postby neil hilton » Tue May 04, 2010 3:46 pm

RF wrote:Given the problem with quadruple gun turrets on the KGV class battleships is there any reason for the arrangement of the A and B turrets, one four gun and one two gun, when alternatively they both could have been triple turrets?
The four gun and two gun arrangement seems odd.


Was there a problem with the quad design?
Pow had problems against Bismark but she was brand new with lots of bugs to fix.
KGV didn't have any problems against Bismark, neither did DoY against Scharhorst.

I read the reason was a stability one, but that doesn't make sense. The North Carolinas had 3 triple 16" turrets (which were heavier) on a 35000 ton hull. Keeping it under the 35000 ton treaty limit sounds right. and of course time constraints.
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Re: KGV class

Postby Bgile » Tue May 04, 2010 4:54 pm

neil hilton wrote:KGV didn't have any problems against Bismark, neither did DoY against Scharhorst.


Yes, KGV did have problems in the Bismarck action. Rodney fired more rounds with her slower loading guns.

The British quad turret loading arrangements were more complex than those for the 15" guns.

This is debated endlessly and you just have to pick your horse. If you think they caused no more problems than anyone else's turrets, you are entitled to that opinion, but I think you will be in the minority. I think the British obsession with keeping Cordite from blowing up the ship caused increased complexity in their loading arrangements compared to what other navies did, and increased complexity inevitably creates more things that can break. Eventually they were reasonably reliable mountings and I think DoY had reliability in the Scharnhorst engagement similar to weapons in other navies.

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Re: KGV class

Postby alecsandros » Tue May 04, 2010 6:39 pm

@Steve:
IIRC, DoY missed 30% of it's shells while shooting against Schar. So it doesn't seem to be "a reasonably reliable mounting" at all.

@neil hilton: stability as a gun platform WAS a major problem for the KGVs. The lead ship of the class scored significantly less hits against Bismarck than the older Rodney, while DoY's hit ratio at North Cape is notoriously bad.

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Re: KGV class

Postby dunmunro » Tue May 04, 2010 10:15 pm

alecsandros wrote:@Steve:
IIRC, DoY missed 30% of it's shells while shooting against Schar. So it doesn't seem to be "a reasonably reliable mounting" at all.

@neil hilton: stability as a gun platform WAS a major problem for the KGVs. The lead ship of the class scored significantly less hits against Bismarck than the older Rodney, while DoY's hit ratio at North Cape is notoriously bad.


DoY had one defective gun in 'A' turret throughout the engagement. During the first hour, DoY maintained about a ~78% output despite having one gun almost completely out of action in A turret, and during the first 9 broadsides she fired 80 of 90 requested rnds for an 89% output. Given the sea state DoY's output doesn't seem that bad.

I don' think there is anyway to directly compare Rodney and KGV's gunnery accuracy, especially as Rodney was much closer to Bismarck for most of the action. DoY's gunnery was still a lot better than the opposition...and again it is unclear whether any other BB could have done better.

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Re: KGV class

Postby Kyler » Tue May 04, 2010 10:39 pm

RF wrote:Given the problem with quadruple gun turrets on the KGV class battleships is there any reason for the arrangement of the A and B turrets, one four gun and one two gun, when alternatively they both could have been triple turrets?
The four gun and two gun arrangement seems odd.


As Karl said earlier he is correct, from my reading of Great Ships: British Battleships of WW2. The reason was the additional time and cost of redesigning the turrets to a 3 gun configuration per turret.
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Re: KGV class

Postby alecsandros » Wed May 05, 2010 6:14 am

dunmunro wrote:DoY had one defective gun in 'A' turret throughout the engagement. During the first hour, DoY maintained about a ~78% output despite having one gun almost completely out of action in A turret, and during the first 9 broadsides she fired 80 of 90 requested rnds for an 89% output. Given the sea state DoY's output doesn't seem that bad.

I don' think there is anyway to directly compare Rodney and KGV's gunnery accuracy, especially as Rodney was much closer to Bismarck for most of the action. DoY's gunnery was still a lot better than the opposition...and again it is unclear whether any other BB could have done better.


- Total output for the entire battle was about ~ 69%.
- "A malfunctioning gun" is hardly a way to back-up the performance of the KGV mounts.
- The accuracy against Bismarck was consistently in favor of Rodney, throughout the battle. KGV proved more unstable in rough sea, just like DoY proved 2 years later.

KGV class lacked a modern, integrated fire control system similar to that of the American Battleships or Bismarck class. Critical elements, such as gyro-stabilizer+servo-mechanisms for bearing/elevating the guns were not incorporated into the ships. This, along with their (relative) instability in rough seas made them particularly poor gun platforms in specific conditions.

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Re: KGV class

Postby dunmunro » Wed May 05, 2010 5:00 pm

alecsandros wrote:

- Total output for the entire battle was about ~ 69%.
- "A malfunctioning gun" is hardly a way to back-up the performance of the KGV mounts.
- The accuracy against Bismarck was consistently in favor of Rodney, throughout the battle. KGV proved more unstable in rough sea, just like DoY proved 2 years later.

KGV class lacked a modern, integrated fire control system similar to that of the American Battleships or Bismarck class. Critical elements, such as gyro-stabilizer+servo-mechanisms for bearing/elevating the guns were not incorporated into the ships. This, along with their (relative) instability in rough seas made them particularly poor gun platforms in specific conditions.


Show me a BB that had a higher output than DoY under similar conditions, for a similar length of time.

I don't understand your comments regarding stability, as KGV was certainly a more stable gun platform than Rodney and had superior FC including gyro stabilization for her FC systems. She did not have RPC but this was probably not much of a factor in BB gunnery anyways.

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Re: KGV class

Postby alecsandros » Thu May 06, 2010 6:12 am

dunmunro wrote:
Show me a BB that had a higher output than DoY under similar conditions, for a similar length of time.

There weren't any other similar actions, as you well know. :D

As for stability, the design characteristics greatly favored the KGV over the Rodney. However, in actual combat situations, the latter proved a more stable gun platform, as is shown by Rodney's and KGV's officers during the last battle of Bismarck.
KGV scored fewer times than Rodney, at any range they were both in. Remember that phrase "it would be better if we were throwing shoes at them",or something like that?

If by RPC you mean the system which connected the gyro with servos that could automaticaly execute bearing/elevation of the turret/gun, I would argue that this is exactly the reason why KGV and DoY achieved so few hits against BS/Schar. Compare this to Washington's action against Kirishima (in slightly better sea conditions though - force 7 compared to force 10) and US destroyers brave fight against the Japanese battleship line in Oct 1944, again in poor sea conditions.

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This is not to say KGV was a sub-standard class. In my opinion, they were suited for fighting any contemporary battleship, provided they were close enough to their bases (they had a small range) and that the sea conditions were acceptable. Their AA and ATS protection was ok, with lots of possibilities of improvement (see the huge number of AA guns mounted on Howe/Anson).
Their armor scheme was very good and optimised precisely for fighting enemy battleships - with very thick side and deck protection and lightly armored con tower (think about what would have happened if the con tower had 300-400mm of armor when Bismarck's 380mm shell struck! It would have pierced the armor and exploded inside, killing everyone. The idea was so good it was actualy retained for the later Vanguard).

If they would have had a fire control computer with automatic input (from director/radar/pitot tube/etc) and output (fire control solution sent to the turrets/guns) they would have been formidable foes.
As they were, they could have reasonably engaged any French/Italian/Japanese (except Yamato class) battleship, and I think that's very good considering the haste with which they were ordered, modified during construction and finaly launched...

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Re: KGV class

Postby RF » Thu May 06, 2010 6:55 am

dunmunro wrote:
DoY's gunnery was still a lot better than the opposition...and again it is unclear whether any other BB could have done better.


Well, Scharnhorst had its radar smashed and a plethora of different targets to shoot at....... DOY had only one target to concern itself with.
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Re: KGV class

Postby RF » Thu May 06, 2010 7:00 am

alecsandros wrote:
Their AA and ATS protection was ok, with lots of possibilities of improvement (see the huge number of AA guns mounted on Howe/Anson).
Their armor scheme was very good and [i]optimised precisely for fighting enemy battleships


The fate of POW does seem to offer a contradiction to this. Howe and Anson were the last and best in the series of these battleships and came too late to be properly tested on Axis battleships and aircraft.
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