Ideal battleship design

Warship design and construction, terminology, navigation, hydrodynamics, stability, armor schemes, damage control, etc.
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neil hilton
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby neil hilton » Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:18 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
, would it be possible to design a ship that was impervious to any WW2 torpedo as well as having enough firepower to deter any potential opponent?

In my opinion no, it was not possible to design torpedo resistant battleships and the Germans never considered the Bismarck to be. The best that could be done was to minimize the risk of receiving hits and to minimize the damage if one did receive a hit. A lot of the torpedo damage inflicted on battleships and cruisers during the war came more toward the ends of the ships, and really not much but compartmentation could be done there. A torpedo stiking a major warship torward the middle was still likely to cause much damage. These ratings of a TDS being able to handle more than 1000lb of high explosive are rather questionable. Even the torpedos which doomed Prince of Wales were relatively small and weak ariel torpedoes. Had they been more powerful and/or magnetic trigger torpedoes exploding under the keel they would have been even more effective.


I agree with this. The only way to make a ship impervious to torpedos would be to make it impervious to sinking. Not possible unless you fill its whole internal space with solid bouyant foam or something. The best you could do possibly would be to give it very deep (inwards towards the vessels centreline) watertight compartments, compartmentalised laterally and longitudinally, as sacrificial flooding spaces each with a powerful dedicated pump. Even then a torpedo going off under the keel will break the ships back.
Not possible.
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:20 pm

neil hilton wrote: .... And yet no modern ships have such large calibre AAA guns. Nothing bigger than 40mm with proximity fused warheads. What goes around comes around eh?

The 76mm (Italian) and 5" guns on US ships are dual purpose.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Bgile » Sun Apr 17, 2011 9:23 pm

lwd wrote:
neil hilton wrote: .... And yet no modern ships have such large calibre AAA guns. Nothing bigger than 40mm with proximity fused warheads. What goes around comes around eh?

The 76mm (Italian) and 5" guns on US ships are dual purpose.


As are 57mm guns.

The 20mm CIWS weapons are dual purpose, but the 25mm weapons are surface only. You really can't make a broad statement about caliber.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby RF » Tue Apr 19, 2011 8:58 am

lwd wrote:It's possible that something like the proposed iceburg carrier could instead be made into an iceber battleship and as such while it wouldn't be impervious it would be extremely resistent to torpedos and could have the important parts armored with steel as well. The problem of course would be that it would tend to melt over time, this would be a very serious problem in tropical waters.


Providing they aren't composed of ''dirty ice'' which would be more heat absorbing such a vessel could survive in the tropics for quite a time as the white would reflect sunlight. The main consideration presumably would be the temperature of the seawater immediately around and underneath the vessel.

I believe that large icebergs have been ''captured ' and towed succesfully across the equator from one hemisphere to the other to provide water supplies to desert areas.
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:37 pm

The ice had something (sawdust?) in it that further stabalized it. Still one expects a battleship to be around for decades and without periodic and frequent additions I don't see that happening with an "ice ship". Here are a couple of wiki links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pykrete

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby RF » Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:29 pm

Certainly an interesting concept.

Suppose the Germans had constructed such a carrier, loaded it with stukas and torpedo bombers and let it loose in the Atlantic around the time of Operation Berlin.....
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby neil hilton » Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:59 am

lwd wrote:
neil hilton wrote: .... And yet no modern ships have such large calibre AAA guns. Nothing bigger than 40mm with proximity fused warheads. What goes around comes around eh?

The 76mm (Italian) and 5" guns on US ships are dual purpose.


My mistake, sorry. I meant dedicated AAA not dual purpose, of which the British 4.5" is also an example. However in my experience such modern dual purpose guns are almost worthless against modern aircraft (they are simply too big and cumbersome to track very fast targets effectively).
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby neil hilton » Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:05 am

lwd wrote:The ice had something (sawdust?) in it that further stabalized it. Still one expects a battleship to be around for decades and without periodic and frequent additions I don't see that happening with an "ice ship". Here are a couple of wiki links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pykrete


I believe the design included refridgeration plants to prevent the hull from melting, probably good enough to keep it afloat in the north atlantic indefinately but whether they could cope with tropical climes, dunno.
As an aside I saw a tv show called Mythbusters that tested 'Pykcrete', they found that frozen newspaper was as effective!!
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Wed Apr 20, 2011 12:36 pm

neil hilton wrote:
lwd wrote:
neil hilton wrote: .... And yet no modern ships have such large calibre AAA guns. Nothing bigger than 40mm with proximity fused warheads. What goes around comes around eh?

The 76mm (Italian) and 5" guns on US ships are dual purpose.


My mistake, sorry. I meant dedicated AAA not dual purpose, of which the British 4.5" is also an example. However in my experience such modern dual purpose guns are almost worthless against modern aircraft (they are simply too big and cumbersome to track very fast targets effectively).

From what I saw (mostly videos) back when I was working on the AEGIS project the US 5" gun was fairly effective against both aircraft and missiles of the time at range. Close in you wanted something like Phalanx or Goal Keeper. Note that the US large caliber AAA guns were dual purpose from WWII on. Even the 40mm and 20mm guns were occasionally used against surface targets. Indeed the most modern versions of Phalanx have a surface action mode I think.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby fyrbane » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:39 pm

Been reading this thread with interest.Some of you are talking about technology's which weren't really relevant or indeed around during this period. And as for the bismarck's armoured scheme, it was seriously flawed so i certainly would not use that ship as a starting point for my ideal ship. Some of you champion the North Carolina and South Dakota class ships as ideal- this would also be a mistake, since we are talking about the rather unpredictable and rough seas of the Atlantic. The sea keeping abilities of these US ships in heavy seas were not so good, the Iowa's were better but still not ideal. Also the internal belt system of the later two was also a compromise and far from ideal.[ The thickness at around 12 inches was simply too thin to guarantee stopping a modern 15 or 16 inch shell]. The S.D class were also too small and very cramped with the effect of 5 inch gunfire blast often seriously effecting the smaller anti aircraft gunfire crews and guns. No, what we need is a hull with excellent seakeeping abilities,fast [30 knots plus] the best overall gun available for the time and a very good armour scheme. First off I would have an enlarged Vanguard hull [easily the best seakeeping hull available] but not too massive [Montana size for instance], Iowa class engine plant and her 16"/50 guns [the same number and layout to keep good stability and weight down]. The armoured belt would be based on the Lion class's uniform 15 inch scheme using British cemented armour [slightly superior to equivalent US and German armour- read Nathan Okuns notes on this]. Horizontal protection over the vitals [magazines etc] would be 6-7 inch nc armour with 2 inch above this on the upper deck to help break up and or slow down incoming shell fire and bombs. Torpedo protection would be similar to Lion and Vanguards along with the mousse system used by Richelieu. She would also use the twin rudder system used by Iowa and be able to steer with engines alone if needs be. Secondary armament would be 20 5"/38 and probably an all bofors gun [a la Vanguard] close anti-aircraft gun support. The 5.25 inch guns on Vanguard were of a much improved design than on earlier ships [KGV etc] with greater accurracy and fire rate and would be a better bet for pure surface work than the US 5"/38 but the greater threat would be from the air so these get the nod.

So there we have it , a larger Vanguard [840-860 feet in length, 115-118 ft beam], incorporating the best features of an Iowa with a sprinkling of Richelieu. I figure she would weigh around 50,000-52,000 tons standard and still be capable of 30 knots plus. [By the way I would not have an armoured conning tower- they were rarely used and would use the extra weight in armour distributed between the belt and horizontal protection.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby alecsandros » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:32 pm

fyrbane wrote: And as for the bismarck's armoured scheme, it was seriously flawed so i certainly would not use that ship as a starting point for my ideal ship.

If you are quoting from Nathan's research paper, you should keep in mind that it's 14 years old, and a whole array of documents have surfaced in the mean time, that changed completely that perspective.

As it was, the space array on the Bismarck gave the finest vital protection of any WW2 battleship, and protected over 70% of her length, whereas contemporary designs covered 50-60%.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:04 am

..And as for the bismarck's armoured scheme, it was seriously flawed..

In what recpect Bismarcks armor scheme was seriously flawed?
Several authors had been written off an flawed(incomplete) analysis and over time it has been established as a fact.
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby RF » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:06 am

Flawed or not, the British did find the task of sinking Bismarck rather difficult...... that suggests to me that the armour scheme must have been pretty good, considering the pounding Bismarck received.
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby ede144 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:06 am

RF wrote:Flawed or not, the British did find the task of sinking Bismarck rather difficult...... that suggests to me that the armour scheme must have been pretty good, considering the pounding Bismarck received.

Especially when someone called her merely a battle cruiser.
And Tirpitz need also a very special treatment to sink her

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby MikeBrough » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:28 pm

RF wrote:Flawed or not, the British did find the task of sinking Bismarck rather difficult...... that suggests to me that the armour scheme must have been pretty good, considering the pounding Bismarck received.


"Hard to sink" isn't really much use when you've been battered to a pulp long before. Wasn't the Bismarck's main armour just too low, almost on the waterline? Too much critical equipment outside the main box.


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