Washington v Tirpitz

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paul.mercer
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Washington v Tirpitz

Postby paul.mercer » Sun May 14, 2017 9:28 am

Gentlemen,
In another topic it was mentioned that USS Washington was sent to bolster the home fleet in case Tirpitz got out. I'm not sure if we have discussed this before, but what if they met hand to hand? If we have discussed this, when was it?

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Rick Rather
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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby Rick Rather » Sun May 14, 2017 10:19 am

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
...what if they met hand to hand?


The image comes to mind of the two great ships belt-to-belt as a couple of thousand sailors in foul-weather gear have a slap-fight across the life-lines. :D

Seriously though, my usual prediction is that the first ship to lose a main battery turret will lose the battle unless it can return the favor PDQ. Note that (in this formulation) with one more turret, Tirpitz degrades slightly better (however, this may increase the odds of a turret getting hit).

I have seen people speculate on whether any single battleship carried enough main battery rounds to sink an equivalent foe, given real world gunnery hit data (as opposed to mathematical modelling).
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
-- R. Rather

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Alberto Virtuani
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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Mon May 15, 2017 7:13 am

Rick Rather wrote: "...the first ship to lose a main battery turret will lose the battle...."

Hi Rick,
not taking into account speed, fire control, weather, sea and visibility conditions, in a daylight battle to death, with both sides resolutely determined to destroy the enemy, quickly closing range, then I think that, more than a turret destruction, the key discriminating factor would be the immunity zone: the first ship fighting, for a time long enough, out of her IZ at a distance where hits are relatively frequent, will be disabled (if not destroyed) and finished.

In this sense, IMHO, Tirpitz would be better positioned, even if I have to admit that I don't know in depth the US battleships armor schemes and features.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)

paul.mercer
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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby paul.mercer » Mon May 15, 2017 9:29 am

Gentlemen,
Just had a look at the specifications of the Colorado class ships, at 35000 tons and 9x16" guns they seem similar to Nelson and Rodney
if that a fair comparison?
I suppose that like any battle its going to be the one who h.its first and keeps on hitting is going to win

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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Mon May 15, 2017 10:00 am

Warships are complex machines. There are numerous variables and relationships that may affect the outcome of a battle. Influence of random events is far too great, to predict the outcome of one particular battle. And in realtiy it appears possible that even a weaker appearing ship may win two battles or more in a row.

Only with a sufficent number of battles you will receive a expectation, wich shows a tendency of certain vessel beeing better.

With our "strictly rational" assessments, we usually almost completely ignore chance.

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Ther is a range in wich the victory for one side is absolutely impossible. The area above maximum range of Washington. Despite low hit probabilities on the german side.

At all other ranges both sips had different relative strenghts and weaknesses and we also must consider external conditions wich may affect compat capabilities of both opponents.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby Dave Saxton » Mon May 15, 2017 2:10 pm

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Just had a look at the specifications of the Colorado class ships, at 35000 tons and 9x16" guns they seem similar to Nelson and Rodney
if that a fair comparison?
I suppose that like any battle its going to be the one who h.its first and keeps on hitting is going to win


You mean North Carolina class instead of the Colorado class?

The Colorado or West Virginia class dates back to WWI. The deck protection of the West Virginia class, even after modernization, was rather poor. In my opinion it worse than the Hood's.

The North Carolina class Immunity zone was 18,000 yards (15" effective US Class A) to 28,000 yards (4.1" effective US Class B deck protection) against the American 14"/50. The German 15" was a more powerful gun than the 14"/50. The Washington would have little to no IZ against the Tirpitz' 15" guns. Meanwhile the Tirpitz would have had a rather wide IZ against the Washington's 16"/45, given the scarp triangle vertical protection system and the 5.25"-6" effective Wh deck protection.

The Tirpitz' gun also has a wider danger space with shorter flight time, also with relatively low dispersion, and therefore was more likely to hit first and hit more often, given the German fire control system was at least as capable.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby paul.mercer » Tue May 16, 2017 3:06 pm

Thanks for that Dave, yes I did mean the North Carolina class, even then she didn't seem to be a match for Tirpitz!

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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby alecsandros » Wed May 17, 2017 7:42 pm

... With typical WW2 battleship duel average range at around ~ 16-17km , differences in shell flight time and fall angle would be less important then at longer ranges. Tirpitz would possess the advantage of the thicker vertical armor belt (with scarp), while Washington would have 1 extra gun to bear on the enemy.

No ship has any defense against enemy shells outside of own citadel (Washington doesn't have much citadel protection versus 380mm/L52 guns unless very strict obliquity is mantained, therefore blocking some of own artillery) , and vulnerabilities of con towers, turrets, etc, would be evident as soon as enemy shells would start to rain.

Given that fights between heavyweights can (and usualy do) score crippling hits very early, my take goes to Lady Luck as probable deciding factor in this battle. [allthough as a fighting ship Tirpitz was the stronger battleship]

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Re: Washington v Tirpitz

Postby OpanaPointer » Thu May 18, 2017 7:29 pm

Washington von Tirpitz, you say? :shock:


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