Two KGV's vs. Yamato

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Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by WestPhilly » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:13 pm

Just wondering; could two modern "treaty battleships" handle a contemporary built without treaty restrictions?

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Karl Heidenreich
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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Sun Nov 09, 2008 7:37 pm

Two KGV could have defeated Bismarck, but no Yamato, don´t think so. As a matter of fact two North Carolinas are not likely to have defeated it neither... Maybe two Iowa could.
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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Bgile » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:21 pm

The KGVs would have to depend on destroying Yamato's main fire control director before she did decisive damage to them. They would have to split up so they had a chance to hit Yamato's turrets on the back or side armor. They might be able to silence her before they ran out of ammo. If that doesn't work and Yamato doesn't lose her central FC capability, I think both British ships will probably be sunk.

The same sort of thing could happen to two US battleships. They would have a better chance to knock out Yamato's turrets, though.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Legend » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:44 pm

Yeah. The thing is, the 14 inchers the KGV's used weren't up to the challenge of penetrating true battleship armor... They had a really hard time taking down Bismarck. If memory serves the Rodney with her 16 inchers was the only ship present that actually was able to penetrate the hull armor, thus the huge hole on the starboard side of the ship they found on the wreck. The KGV blew the superstructure to hell, but not the actual hull. James Cameron and his team took a look with the MIR's and they found coffee table sized sploches on the hull where the 14in shells just imploded or glanced off instead of continuing through the armor, a true tribute to Krupp Steel.

Now to my point... if Bismarck could shrug off KGV class shells, (which it did), the Yamato would just kinda notice the two tiny ships after the first BONK from those shells imploding against the hull, and then take it's time sinking the both of them. The Yamato had a hell of allot more armor than Bismarck did, like almost double that than the legendary Bismarck.

:stop: No offense to anyone from the UK.
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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:09 am

I find that here is a great problem: if one on the contenders "knock out" it´s enemy´s fire control then he could win. Of course. The problem is really doing it! It has been stated a lot in several other threads that, even the most precise aiming, you could "straddle" or "hit" the enemy early in a combat, but you don´t choose the part of the ship were you hit. That´s the main reason that Bismarck´s hit on Hood was stood as the "lucky hit" or, on the other hand, the Swordfish´s hit on Bismarck´s rudder is another "outstanding lucky hit". And that class of "luck" is what I don´t believe any skipper in the real world would be counting upon.
We cannot deny it´s possible (and likely) to happen. But you´ll bet your life, your crew´s life and your vessel to that 1 in million shot?

Maybe the two allied ships could split in order to distract the Yamato, but sooner or later, when some 18" shells devastate one of the allied ships then the other will have to run away. Which is the likely thing to happened.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by dunmunro » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:11 am

Legend wrote:Yeah. The thing is, the 14 inchers the KGV's used weren't up to the challenge of penetrating true battleship armor... They had a really hard time taking down Bismarck. If memory serves the Rodney with her 16 inchers was the only ship present that actually was able to penetrate the hull armor, thus the huge hole on the starboard side of the ship they found on the wreck. The KGV blew the superstructure to hell, but not the actual hull. James Cameron and his team took a look with the MIR's and they found coffee table sized sploches on the hull where the 14in shells just imploded or glanced off instead of continuing through the armor, a true tribute to Krupp Steel.

Now to my point... if Bismarck could shrug off KGV class shells, (which it did), the Yamato would just kinda notice the two tiny ships after the first BONK from those shells imploding against the hull, and then take it's time sinking the both of them. The Yamato had a hell of allot more armor than Bismarck did, like almost double that than the legendary Bismarck.

:stop: No offense to anyone from the UK.
KGV's 14" gun were quite capable of penetrating Bismarck's armour at most realistic combat ranges, and could penetrate 12" of superior RN armour at 30 deg inclination quite readily at 1500fps. I posted some penetration data here:
http://www.sfu.ca/~dmunro/BB_Gun_pen.html
and the 14"/45 penetration data equates nicely with actual proof trials.

Reagrding Yamato, that would be a tough proposition. In a 2nd Guadalcanal style action, the 14/45 could probably have penetrated the belt armour at around 14k yds, but turrets and barbettes would have been nearly invulnerable. The best option might have been to engage at extreme range, and at around 32-34k yds Yamato's deck becomes vulnerable.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Legend » Mon Nov 10, 2008 12:51 am

:think: Sooo... Your saying the ranges the British were at on May 27, 1941 were unrealistic? :think: If they weren't then it is hard to imagine why the crew had to scuttle to make their ship go down and out of British hands.

Karl, I meant to mention that in my original post but forgot and didn't want to double post. I agree with that: though the Yamato could easily take out the two KGV's with heavier firepower, range, and armor... she would, like all warships large to small, without it's rangefinders and/or radar, would be a sitting duck. I though do give my chances still to the Yamato, for being bigger and better in every shipbound category other than the possible optics and above all radar. Now there is a situation where I would be inclined to give the British a better sucess rating: a duel during the night. If those two little buggers caught the Yamato off gaurd, they might possibly be able to put enough holes into her superstructure to put her out of action for the rest of the war. Unless I am overestimating British radar capabilities of course... (again no offense)


(when I say shipbound above I mean disregarding the fact that one crew may be better trained or have a better commander)
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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by dunmunro » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:35 am

Legend wrote::think: Sooo... Your saying the ranges the British were at on May 27, 1941 were unrealistic? :think: If they weren't then it is hard to imagine why the crew had to scuttle to make their ship go down and out of British hands.

Karl, I meant to mention that in my original post but forgot and didn't want to double post. I agree with that: though the Yamato could easily take out the two KGV's with heavier firepower, range, and armor... she would, like all warships large to small, without it's rangefinders and/or radar, would be a sitting duck. I though do give my chances still to the Yamato, for being bigger and better in every shipbound category other than the possible optics and above all radar. Now there is a situation where I would be inclined to give the British a better sucess rating: a duel during the night. If those two little buggers caught the Yamato off gaurd, they might possibly be able to put enough holes into her superstructure to put her out of action for the rest of the war. Unless I am overestimating British radar capabilities of course... (again no offense)


(when I say shipbound above I mean disregarding the fact that one crew may be better trained or have a better commander)
I am saying that Bismarck's armour was penetrated by KGV's 14" guns. However, you have to realize that Bismarck's main belt was almost completely submerged at the opening of the final action so KGV (and Rodney) had little opportunity to actually hit it. Regarding her turrets and barbettes, it is difficult to say which ship did what, but Bismarck's vertical amour was not proof against a low target angle, 14" hit under about 24000 yds. The design of Bismarck's main "turtle" deck design made it very hard for any gun to penetrate through to the vitals if it had to pass through the slope of the deck armour. I think you need to research this aspect of Bismarck's design. However, Bismarck's main belt was quite shallow and PoW did score a very damaging hit on the machinery by passing under the belt. During the final action KGV actually maintained a range of over 12000 yds for much of the action to try and score more such hits, while Rodney closed in to point blank range very quickly.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:49 am

The main belt wasn´t penetrated by KGV. The evidence suggests Rodney penetrated, at least where is visible.
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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by lwd » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:50 am

I'd go with the two KGV's in this case. While Yamato's vitals aren't vulnerable at most ranges there's a lot of her including her fire control that is. 20 14" guns have a pretty good chance of getting a fair number of hits. Indeed they might be better off firing HE and doing as much damage to her upper structure as possible. Yamato has to take out one of them pretty quickly to win IMO. I'd expect one of the KGVs to be in bad shape at the end of things in any case. Not sure splitting up is a good idea. Might allow Yamato to concentrate on one of them.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Bgile » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:03 am

lwd wrote:I'd go with the two KGV's in this case. While Yamato's vitals aren't vulnerable at most ranges there's a lot of her including her fire control that is. 20 14" guns have a pretty good chance of getting a fair number of hits. Indeed they might be better off firing HE and doing as much damage to her upper structure as possible. Yamato has to take out one of them pretty quickly to win IMO. I'd expect one of the KGVs to be in bad shape at the end of things in any case. Not sure splitting up is a good idea. Might allow Yamato to concentrate on one of them.
Splitting up is the only way to have a chance to get penetrating turret hits on Yamato. Splitting up makes it hard for Yamato to switch targets quickly. It permits one ship to withdraw under smoke if she needs to without interfering with the other. It allows the two ships to help spot each other's splashes in range. It's the preferred tactic, which is why the British did it against Bismarck when they were able to do so.

Two battleships should, in theory, always be able to defeat one. For example, S&G on paper are much superior to
Renown. It's a somewhat similar example to 2 KGVs vs Yamato, in fact.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by jonsidneyb » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:25 am

I don't know the answer to this question so it may seem odd that I would be posting here but I do question ability to sink as being a prime factor.

While it may be desirable to sink the enemy I am not sure it is a requirement. Before Bismarck was sunk was it not incapable of any kind of offense or defense?

I would say that if the Yamato's guns were silenced or in some other way the Yamato was rendered a non-threat and if one of the KGV's was still functional that Two KGV's did handle Yamato but at a cost.

My guess is if Yamato did get hits early and quickly took one of them out of the fight it will not be pretty for the KGV's unless they also score quickly. I also think if the second KGV can get telling hits fast and keep them up even if the first KGV is quickly being taken out of the fight there is still hope for the other KGV.

I do not have a guess as how it would really turn out but I don't think sinking the Yamato is required to beat her. I just don't know if the KGV's can silence her or not.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:34 pm

Bgile:
Two battleships should, in theory, always be able to defeat one.
Which was why Tovey sent Lancelot Holland with two capital ships + two cruisers to ambush Bismarck at Denmark Straits... and the reason why Holland charged like a bull against Bismarck only to get his flagship blown sky high and the BB damaged with it´s bridge destroyed.

Or the Twins vs. Renown, as Bgile stated.

Of course, in an open seas engagement we could have the two smaller units splitting like Rodney and KGV did @ May 27th. Of course, also, they were able to operate with that freedom because Bismarck was doing just 7 knots, was ingovernable and surrounded.

Let me try this again: lwd has stated that many non-vital parts of Yamato (or Bismarck for this same effect) are vulnerable and IF one of two KGVs destroy them early then the lesser units will have the advantage. But we have seen that to do it is an statistical issue which is not that easy to accomplish. What if Yamato, with it´s stereoscopic range finder, did straddle and hit one of the KGV early in the combat? What if this hit, of one, two or three 18" shell land on the boilers, on the armoured bridge or the FCD disables early in the combat this KGV? Then it´s a piece of cake for Yamato to finish the job (assuming his commander is not Lutjens) because one KGV is a sitting duck and the other one is going to be destroyed soon (which by now is NOT an statistical issue because Yamato is plain superior to KGV).

The Bismarck vs. 2 KGV scenario is alike. Why? Because she already did it at DS: destroying one capital ship early inthe combat (this time it doesn´t need to destroy it, just to bring her offensive capability uncapable to answer). Then she can take care of the other one. Barely possible? Well, there is Lancelot Holland to answer for that.

Of course, on paper Bismarck MUST lose in front of two KGV, no doubt. But this is not always the case, using the "early luck" hits that, in these threads, always affect in favour of allied vessels.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by lwd » Mon Nov 10, 2008 2:47 pm

Bgile wrote: Splitting up is the only way to have a chance to get penetrating turret hits on Yamato...
But is it really worth basing your entire battle plan on this? Especially since turret hits are not all that likely?
Splitting up makes it hard for Yamato to switch targets quickly...
Depends on what you mean by quickly. At some ranges I wouldn't expect to see any effect on Yamato's fireing cycle. It might atke a salvo or two to get on target although there are ways to shorten this as well.
It permits one ship to withdraw under smoke if she needs to without interfering with the other.
It also prevents one ship to withdraw under smoke provided by the other. IF the KGV's are not in an early war configuration they probably have a blindfire capability so smoke fouling is not a major concern. Indeed if the weather conditions are right for it both the KGVs may want to be making smoke as it gets in Yamato's way a lot more than theres.
It allows the two ships to help spot each other's splashes in range.
They can help spot each others splashes in any case. Also much less of a problem with RDFC as the radar spots the splashes. If they are close together it may actually be easier to tell whose splashes are whose as it will be easier to calculate time of arival.
It's the preferred tactic, ....
Do you have a source for this? I haven't seen it anywhere and it does not conform to most of the multiple BB engagements I'm familiar with.

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Re: Two KGV's vs. Yamato

Post by Bgile » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:39 pm

lwd wrote:But is it really worth basing your entire battle plan on this? Especially since turret hits are not all that likely?
I didn't base it on this one thing. Turrets are heavily armored because they do get hit, and hits on turrets tend to hurt your firepower.
Depends on what you mean by quickly. At some ranges I wouldn't expect to see any effect on Yamato's fireing cycle. It might atke a salvo or two to get on target although there are ways to shorten this as well.
This isn't rocket science. If the new target isn't really close, it can take several minutes to straddle again. Bismarck was able to straddle PoW right away because she was so close to Hood. It took Bismarck three salvoes to straddle hood, and the whole fight can change in that time.
It also prevents one ship to withdraw under smoke provided by the other.
Then you would have to split up. If you stick with your formation, both ships would have to turn away and both ships would suffer fire control problems.
IF the KGV's are not in an early war configuration they probably have a blindfire capability so smoke fouling is not a major concern. Indeed if the weather conditions are right for it both the KGVs may want to be making smoke as it gets in Yamato's way a lot more than theres.
OK so now we are limiting this to the British ships having mk8 or better radar? I didn't realize that we were assuming a huge radar advantage to the British. In any case, optical bearing is preferred.

If they have to use radar they can no longer rely on splash color to tell one ship from the other.

By the way, "theirs" is the possessive form of "they".
They can help spot each others splashes in any case. Also much less of a problem with RDFC as the radar spots the splashes. If they are close together it may actually be easier to tell whose splashes are whose as it will be easier to calculate time of arival.
No, it's easier if there is an angle between firing ship and spotter. RDFC is a problem because you can't tell your splashes from the other guy's if they arrive at about the same time.

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