Ideal battleship design

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

Postby Brett » Thu May 27, 2010 2:50 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Brett wrote:Hi All
I do find it rather shallow comparing design from say 1933 that appeared on the seas in 1939-40 to designs that first sailed in 1944

Hi.
My impression is that the 1934 designed Bismarck would destroy the 1940 designed Vanguard most of the time, from a pure technological perspective.
And the 1922 designed Rodney would be a very tough nut to crack for 1936 designed Richelieu.


Not so sure about those comparisons as the Vanguard was by all accounts a well armoured ship and faster so had the option to run much as does the Richelieu. The Rodney was a slugger, no doubt about that, with heavy guns and armour but at the cost of speed. The Vanguard gets slammed for using Grandma's teeth but boy what a set of teeth. Still it does prove that a well designed ship can last through the ages. My beef is more comparing a radar equipped Vanguard of 1948 with a 1940 Bismark as the Vanguard could thump the Bismark at near the maximum range of its guns and the Biskmark would wonder what is hitting it. Now compare a 1948 radar equipped modernised Bismark and it would be a battle of the armour protection schemes given the higher probability of hits. The Bismark armour protection scheme especially of the turrets is not a good design compared to some of its contemporariness so. The question is what design gets the most bang for buck at the time and can be modernised.

It is amazing that the the Arizona was a pre WW1 design that apart from speed got most things right so even in 1941 had not been sunk by air power it could have given a wildcard chance of knocking out the Bismark and definitely would account well against the two 11" fast battleships of Germany assuming that their Captains chose to close into battle.

A battleship is a capital ship so long life is a key element. The Warspite proves this but then again it could be argued that money spent refitting her and her sistesr would be well spent on more KG class ships.

A successful design is one that can be updated and part of that updating is having adequate electric power, internal space, etc. In a way the South Dakota was built too optimised for 35,000 tonne treaty constraint that this meant is could not be modified cheaply. Now if it was designed to be lengthen with the space used for extra engine capacity then I would be impressed. I love designs that can be updated over time. The Iowa class even now could run with the fleet and provide heavy hitting power. The Yamato might have been pensioned off much earlier. Though I believe the designers did consider fitting fewer but bigger guns. Now a 1946 such equipped Yamato against a 1946 equipped Iowa would be interesting. The armour of the Iowa would come under pressure. The deciding question would have Britain been so willing to share Radar with the USA if no war until then and likewise would the Germans been willing to do the same for Japan.

Cheers Brett

alecsandros
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby alecsandros » Thu May 27, 2010 3:44 pm

Brett wrote: Not so sure about those comparisons as the Vanguard was by all accounts a well armoured ship and faster so had the option to run much as does the Richelieu. The Rodney was a slugger, no doubt about that, with heavy guns and armour but at the cost of speed.

... Vanguard top speed was ~ 30kts, same as Bismarck.
Of course Richelieu was faster than Rodney, but if the final measuring stick for comparing battleships is their ability to destroy enemy battleships, than a fight is necessary, and not a "flight".

Also, I am thinking more about the ships on the water and less about the ships on paper.

For instance, Vanguard's designed battle-load was ~ 52600 tons, but stress tests proved the hull would not be able to resist in heavy weather and/or with significant stress coming from holes/flooding/tight turns on that displacement. So they kept the load below 49000 tons, just to be on the safe side.

Another example is Richelieu's sister ship plastering at Casablanca: one -2700pds AP shell fired from USS Massachussets pierced 25+150+40mm of armored decks, retained it's explosive capability and exploded deep inside the ship, in a (fortunately) empy 152mm shells magazine.
The problem here is that the angle of the falling shell was ~ 25 degrees, which, adressing the penetration tables for the US L45/406mm Mark 8 shell of the time means ~ 125mm of deck penetration. A big difference from the actual performance, which suggests ifnerior quality, at least to some portions of the armored decks in French BBs.

There are numerous opinions about Allied radar being superior to the German counterparts. I had this misconception to, but there are a lot of posts on this forum which paint a different picture: from blindfire capability to spotting the fall of shot and to radar jaming devices, the Germans had it just about the same as the US Navy, and Royal Navy did.

Indeed, Bismarck's turrets are not armored to conteporary standards, but Vanguard's are even less armored (~ 6% less), while the German L4.4 380mm shell had more penetrative power than the British L42-381mm shell (about 10% more)
The bottom line is that Vanguard's turrets were vulnerable at 16% more range than Bismarck's against each other's fire.

===========

Don't get me wrong, I agree for the most part with your opinions concerning "ideal" designs. It's just that I see to many knowledgeable people debating "designs" and forgetting that some of those "designs" failed miserably under real-life circumstances.
(This is a critique I am also trying to follow, by reading as much as I can about the big ships :) )

Wish you all the best,
Alex

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Bgile » Thu May 27, 2010 3:53 pm

Brett,

Welcome to posting here!

I'm not capable of designing a battleship, so I don't feel capable of critiquing your design except on one point. You have almost as many 6" guns as Iowa has 5". More than Yamato, which was much larger than your ship. 6" guns weigh 2 to 3 times as much as 5". Then you have about as many twin 3" as Iowa has quad 40mm. Twin 3" weighed about 25% more than quad 40mm in US service. Then you add some 37mm.

How are you going to do this on 40,000 tons?

I also think you would have trouble finding space for all those 6" and 3" and their directors. The 6" triples are going to eat into superstructure space something terrible. They did put useful things in there.

Again, this is all ship design stuff and I don't really have the expertise to answer my own questions. Maybe it's all possible.

dunmunro
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby dunmunro » Thu May 27, 2010 7:38 pm

Bgile wrote:

Again, this is all ship design stuff and I don't really have the expertise to answer my own questions. Maybe it's all possible.


This program might help:

http://www.springsharp.com/

Brett
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Brett » Fri May 28, 2010 12:19 am

Weight and designing a ship has many factors not at least ensuring each frame is self supporting to avoid uneven loading and this is something that I do not have a clue so can get things wrong. I believe such issues compromised the upgrading of the Hood's secondary gun. Basically the Bismark carried six two gun turrets and I am aming at the same number but with an extra gun and ok the Biskmark is comfortablely over the 40,000 standard imposed so something would need to give. Yes I agree it is a push and maybe the reality of detailed work would force back to the same configuration. Also remember I am not having heavy armoured conning towers so top weight is lower and that weight is available for these guns. If you take a South Dakota drop the heavy armour in the conning towers and go down to six secondary turrets and up the weight and length to achieve 40,000 tonnes I would think you just could do it. Also the South Dakota use less stressed steam plant and I am hoping to get the same performance to weight as the high pressure setups. Sadly the Deltic design was never linked so this is a hard to evaluate item.

I am not sure about the use of armour in the structure strengthing of battleships but the Japanese put effort into doing this for crusiers. What I am looking at is is using every trick avaliable and known in the 1930's. For example the hull design of the Normady Ocean Liner would have been known to all and the Yamato used that concept but highly secretively. Armour sloped internally used in a structural way would give you some savings in weight but at the cost of much higher repair times. This Bismark design appart from high pressure engines appears rather WW1 than WW2 ready thinking. No better example is the 150mm guns. Imagine if they were aircraft capable even to the extent of the current UK 6" crusier designs. All they had to do was knock down one aircraft and the Bismark might have gone one to be running mate of its sister thus becoming the infamous bigger twins.

As for the Vanguard/Bismark shoot out it is my understanding that the Bismark was more 29 knots and the Vanguad 30 knots plus a bit. Too much store is put into standing and fighting. A Kitty Hawk fighter was outclassed by the Zero in dog fights so if you cannot win, do not fight. The Tiger pilots adopted this and used high speed diving attacks to great effect. Such tatics used in the UK airforce would have had the first pilots charged with running away from a fight. I am with Paton on his comments about dying for your country. A case of playing by the rules you can win by rather than the other guys rules.

I have no doubt that given the superior number of UK battleship that the lone Vanguard would have been heading full steam for the lone Bismark. Given the smaller nature of the German fleet I would be attempting to preserve my ships and try to get localised superiority of numbers, so would be heading away. Now two Bismarks in closer waters say of Norway against two Vanguards then let the battle commence especially if they were there to defend a troop convey on its way to invade. The Germans had two classes of battleship that were not well matched. Four standard designs would increase the chance of a two ship hunting group rather than a single lone warrior or what is effectively a battlecruiser and battleship hunting together. Sounds like a German version of Hood/POW combination with the expected outcome been much the same, at least in my opinion.

Battleship design is also a factor your country's strategic position. Paper designs shoud have served to evaluate what suits best and a German shiop would have needed more an ability to fend off 6" cruisers than Japan, UK and USA so I can understand the German decision on 150mm guns but not putting in AA capabilities for them suggests the WW1 men ruled the design office.

Cheers Brett

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby alecsandros » Fri May 28, 2010 5:44 am

dunmunro wrote:
Bgile wrote:

Again, this is all ship design stuff and I don't really have the expertise to answer my own questions. Maybe it's all possible.


This program might help:

http://www.springsharp.com/


OMG Duncan! Way to cool. I have to install it today and blow my brains out.
Cheers, Alex

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Fri May 28, 2010 1:09 pm

I think that's the program that was used extensivley in one of the naval what if cycles. Tarrantry perhaps maybe Letterstime. Both worth reading if you like alternate histories.

alecsandros
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby alecsandros » Fri May 28, 2010 1:18 pm

lwd wrote:I think that's the program that was used extensivley in one of the naval what if cycles. Tarrantry perhaps maybe Letterstime. Both worth reading if you like alternate histories.

Never heard of them, man. What are they about?

lwd
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Fri May 28, 2010 1:29 pm

Letter's time is an alternate history with a POD not long before Jutland. A rather brilliant German admiral manages to revers the course of the naval war in WWI.

Tarrantry is a bit more extreme as far as alternate history goes. It proposes a string of islands existing South West of Great Britain I beleive. Most of the action takes place in a WWII timeline similar to our own with another naval power on the allied side (Tarrantry).
Here are some links:
http://www.rocketpunk-observatory.com/tarrantry.htm
http://letterstime.com/

I enjoyed reading both.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Legend » Sat May 29, 2010 4:52 am

I have seen the website, and have gotten the gist of what it was made for, but I would like more information before I say "I have to get that program!" Is it free? Is it a drafting program? Who has it?
AND THE SEA SHALL GRANT EACH MAN NEW HOPE, AS SLEEP BRINGS DREAMS.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Sat May 29, 2010 12:29 pm

If it's the one I think it is it is freeware. It's not a drafting program although it may give you the capability to sketch your design. I think I looked at it once but didn't really use it. I did see the outputs. It calculates things like stability, metacentric height, speed, and such from inputs such as overall draft, armament, armor, etc. I don't remember much more hopefully others will or you can just get a copy and play with it some and tell us.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Seekanone » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:29 pm

US Battleship Design 65-8, approximately, 82,000 tons standard, 1,075 length x 120 x 38, four or five shafts, 330,000 SHP for 33 knots, 12-16inch Mark 7 50 caliber weapons (Re-equipped with the 18/47 if needed), 16-6inch/47 caliber weapons, multiple 3inch/50 AA guns, and some 20mm mounts for various light duties.
The ship is large enough and fast enough to defeat any known or hypothetical opponent (1940-46), with armored protection on a Montana scale or better (16-18inch belt, 20 inch turret faces, 18inch CT and 8inch decks). A better sea boat than Iowa, she can sail the Atlantic without shipping green water over the bow and have super speed to any known Axis battleship. :clap:

lwd
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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby lwd » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:48 pm

War time experiance would suggest replacing the 3" and 6" guns with 5" guns and suing 40mm for the light AA would be a superior secondary and AA suite. It leaves one a bit weak vs DDs although the 5" guns can tend to disable and or slow them down and allow the main battery to address them if necessary.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Bgile » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:27 pm

lwd wrote:War time experiance would suggest replacing the 3" and 6" guns with 5" guns and suing 40mm for the light AA would be a superior secondary and AA suite. It leaves one a bit weak vs DDs although the 5" guns can tend to disable and or slow them down and allow the main battery to address them if necessary.


5" guns could be very effective against destroyers, as IJN destroyers found out fighting US destroyers. They referred to them as 5" machineguns.

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Re: Ideal battleship design

Postby Seekanone » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:04 pm

40mm guns were too light to engage Kamikaze's and 5inch became so by the end of the war. Proximity fuzes were what made the 5inch so effective. Twin 3/50s were substituted for all quad 40mm mounts at wars end, witness the armament of the Worcester and Des Moines class cruisers. The Iowas only retained their 40mm quads because they had spend time in the reserve fleet and were badly needed on the gunline off of Korea.
Had the Montana or BB65-8 been completed, 5inch/54 might have been used but the 40mm would have been out :negative:
and 3/50 mounted in their place. :angel:


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