Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

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alecsandros
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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by alecsandros » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:55 am

Another aspect to consider is the timing of the fuzes.
Renown's 15" shells had 0,025s fuze delays, whereas Schrnhorst would have used ammo with delay of 0,05sec. Given the thin armor of Renown, it is not unlikely at all that some 28cm shells would simply pass through the ship without exploding (this happened in the Gneisenau vs Renown engagment AND during Scharnhorst's battle with Norfolk at North Cape). The 15" shells on the other hand, would encounter plenty of armored sections that could initiate the fuze, and would explode very quickly after the armored layer had been breached.

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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by lwd » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:55 pm

As I think I said earlier on paper I believe the German battleships have a slight edge over the British Battleship and Battlecruiser. Certainly not enough that luck can't over ride it. Then there are the British cruisers, are they enough to over ride the German edge as well? Historically this seems to have been the case.

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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by Dave Saxton » Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:03 pm

RF wrote:I posed my questions in view of the 14 inch fire from DOY knocking out two of the 11 inch triple turrets on Scharnhorst. While Renown has only 60% of the number of heavy guns of a KGV my question was really aimed at Scharnhorst being able to sustain heavy fire if the turrets could be knocked out, or the gunnery control was clobbered by a 15 inch hit, as was Gneisenau in the 1940 engagement.
Agreed. These risks, particulary at ranges short of the turret protection IZ, may/will play a factor, and direct or indirect hits on top side sensors almost always result in their loss, as in the pivotal 8" hit on Scharnhorst's FuMO26 radar earlier that day. The historical hit vs Anton occurred at only about 11,000 meters range. No amount of turret/barbet armour would likely prevent the loss of Anton in those circumstances. But these same risks would be in effect for Renown as well. Renown's vitals are much more at risk than SHs at almost all practical battle ranges as RobertsonN points out. As LWD commented luck or bad luck seems to always have been a factor historically. I might add that the tactical management by the ship's command is always a major factor that often overides technical advantages and disadvantages.
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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RF
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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by RF » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:32 pm

Richard Garrett mentions the fourteen torpedo hit threshold in his book ''Scharnhorst and Gneisenau'' and as his sources (back in the 1970's when the book was written) did include design plans for the ships of that class I presume that is where his information is sourced.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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19kilo
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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by 19kilo » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:07 am

Well, it seems that DoY's gunnery was good enough to slow Sharn down so the cruisers could get their torpedos in then.

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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:12 pm

Perhaps or perhaps not. As Alf Jacobsen wrote concerning this question:
The real turning point in the battle was when Scharnhorst reduced speed from 30 knots to a bare 20 knots between 1/2 past six and quarter to 7 in the evening (DoY ceased fire at 24 minutes after six) It is no longer possible to determine precisely what caused her to do so; the witnesses are to much at variance. It may have been a shell from Duke of York, but it could also have been engine trouble as the engines had long been over taxed...
The battle range was only about 19,000 meters, so the angle of desent was such that a 14" shell should not defeat the panzer deck to gain access to a boiler room, and defeating the main belt and the scarp at the oblique target angle was impossible. Some have advanced the theory that it wasn't a penetrating projectile but rather the concussion of a non penetrating impact, but in my opinion this is also a stretch. As I wrote previously in this thread there is a problem of chronology to the Duke of York hit theories:
Dave Saxton wrote: .....There is little evidence that the SH was actually slowed by a hit from Duke of York,........There is a major chronology problem to the decisive hit theories. The British first noted a sudden loss in speed of SH on thier radar plots at least 15 minutes after Duke of York ceased fire. Fraser had already issued orders calling off the chase. ...
Another interesting question to pursue is why SH was unsuccessfull in beating back the destroyers? The seemily superficial damage to the topside fire control stations already sustained probably did not help. One DD was shot through by several 11" AP from C turret, but among the survivers there was much controversy over how the middle and light artillery were managed by the gunnery officers. It was thought by some that the effectiveness of these batteries was curtailed. There's also a very untimely turn by Scharnhorst to factor in.
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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RF
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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by RF » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:46 am

Dave Saxton wrote: Another interesting question to pursue is why SH was unsuccessfull in beating back the destroyers? The seemily superficial damage to the topside fire control stations already sustained probably did not help. One DD was shot through by several 11" AP from C turret, but among the survivers there was much controversy over how the middle and light artillery were managed by the gunnery officers. It was thought by some that the effectiveness of these batteries was curtailed.
Is there not also the factor that in the poor visibility the destroyers, with their much smaller profile, were not seen until they were in torpedo range?
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Re: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by Dave Saxton » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:27 pm

Yes, the German survivers reported that seas were running so high that enemy destroyers could not be seen among the wave troughs from Schanhorst's main deck even when they were only a couple thousand meters distant (this also means that the night optics, assuming they had not been destroyed, were probably of limited utility in these conditions). The look outs high up first reported the enemy destroyers from around 10,000 to 8,000 meters distant. The lone remaining radar set had been focused on Duke of York for quite some time to provide radar directed firecontrol of course. The FuMO 27 had a 1/2 power beam width of about 5*. Nonetheless, Hintze seems to of had quickly developed a fairly good idea of the destroyer's positions judging from the manouvers he then attempted.

Hintze turned south to face two of the destroyers head on and place the other two astern. It appears that he was attempting to force the destroyers to launch their fish and if they did so, he was gambling that he could further turn to comb their tracks in time. He lost that gamble as the follow up turn was ill timed, and SH ended up presenting an ideal target to both sets of destroyers. Scharnhorst had worked back up to 22 knots and the speed was climbing (this is another indication that there was no boiler room penetration by a 14" shell). Multiple hits (at least three) were scored at once, and SH was doomed.
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: Duke of York & Renown at Noth Cape

Post by HMS26 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:03 pm

@paul.mercer

Of course in projecting a possible result out of your scenario, there must be a lot of consideration given to quite a number of different factors.
But to keep it to a direct, immediate and pretty unqualified answer, I’d say that the DoY-Renown + escorts side would win. It doesn’t matter that Tirpitz would’ve been there really. Probably HMS Renown would have gone down. But the point is that RN had 3 other light cruisers and 9 destroyers. It’s simply a matter of numerical AND experience advantage. Tirpitz vs. DoY? Interesting one- But I’d give DoY the upper hand.

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