Washington

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Saltheart
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Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:41 pm

[quote The acute falling angle of Washington shells would allmost certainly ensure perfortion of the upper deck, with some probable damage done to the 15cm or 10.5cm mounts.
However, the 0.033s fuze delay of the shells would let them fly over 15meters after holing the upper deck, which means they would also strike the panzer deck before explosion. The panzer deck would be broken in 1-2 places, but the shells would also be broken up, and there fuzes inert, not allowing an explosion.
Given the size of Tirpitz, most likely all the 16"shells would come to rest in non-important sections of the ship...
[/quote]

This is what would be of concern though. At 25km a 16inch shell penetrating the 50mm weatherdeck would penetrate the 3 inch main deck over the engine and boiler rooms and might reduce the ships speed. That might make breaking contact difficult. Also it would allow Washington to control the range of a continued engagement. Fighting Washington with Washington deciding the range would be very risky for Bismarck. You close down to 20km and engage or leave well alone. If the German doctrine would have had them fighting at 25km then they might well have got into trouble.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:57 am

Saltheart wrote:
This is what would be of concern though. At 25km a 16inch shell penetrating the 50mm weatherdeck would penetrate the 3 inch main deck over the engine and boiler rooms and might reduce the ships speed. That might make breaking contact difficult. Also it would allow Washington to control the range of a continued engagement. Fighting Washington with Washington deciding the range would be very risky for Bismarck. You close down to 20km and engage or leave well alone. If the German doctrine would have had them fighting at 25km then they might well have got into trouble.
I doubt it.
It's kind of hard to find a trajectory that would put that shell through the horizontal armored decks. Most trajectories end up hiting the inclined sections of the panzer deck, which were very difficult to perforate by a decaped, yawed and fuzed projectile.
Even if such a trajectory were found, it's likely the perforating shell would not be in working order after exiting the panzer deck.
Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisnenau were hit by a range of 227-730kg SAP and AP bombs. They featured similar horizontal protection schemes, in terms of thickness and material properties. To the best of my knowledge, NOT ONE of those bombs managed to explode beneath the panzer deck. Many exploded against the panzzer deck, and some (5 or 6 IIRC) perforated it, but were so badly damaged that they failed to explode.

Anyway, even hyypothesising an exploding perforating hit inside the machinery spaces, the machinery of Tirpitz was subdivided into several compartments, and even if one compartment was damaged, the ship had plenty of reserve power to continue at maximum speed. See for example the slow flooding of one of Bismarck's boiler rooms, after an underwater explosion by a 14" shell from PoW: the ship steamed on at 28kts+

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RF
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Re: Washington

Post by RF » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:51 am

Saltheart wrote: Captain Leach on North Carolina is ordered to continue and attack Bismarck to stop it at all costs.
Would Bismarck's guns see it through such a fight?
Well in this instance Bismarck is backed up by Prinz Eugen and its 8 inch guns and torpedoes - its not a true one on one.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:50 pm

RF wrote:
Saltheart wrote: Captain Leach on North Carolina is ordered to continue and attack Bismarck to stop it at all costs.
Would Bismarck's guns see it through such a fight?
Well in this instance Bismarck is backed up by Prinz Eugen and its 8 inch guns and torpedoes - its not a true one on one.
That's true I forgot about Prinz Eugen. Mind you if it wanted to torpedo Washington it would have to get to 5 km or closer to have a realistic chance and it would be under a rain of 5 inch shells and if necessary 16 inch. It's 8 inch guns would be effective against Washington's bow and stern but most would probably land in the superstructure if South Dakota's experience at Savo Island is an example.

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Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:55 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Saltheart wrote:
This is what would be of concern though. At 25km a 16inch shell penetrating the 50mm weatherdeck would penetrate the 3 inch main deck over the engine and boiler rooms and might reduce the ships speed. That might make breaking contact difficult. Also it would allow Washington to control the range of a continued engagement. Fighting Washington with Washington deciding the range would be very risky for Bismarck. You close down to 20km and engage or leave well alone. If the German doctrine would have had them fighting at 25km then they might well have got into trouble.
I doubt it.
It's kind of hard to find a trajectory that would put that shell through the horizontal armored decks. Most trajectories end up hiting the inclined sections of the panzer deck, which were very difficult to perforate by a decaped, yawed and fuzed projectile.
Even if such a trajectory were found, it's likely the perforating shell would not be in working order after exiting the panzer deck.
Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, Gneisnenau were hit by a range of 227-730kg SAP and AP bombs. They featured similar horizontal protection schemes, in terms of thickness and material properties. To the best of my knowledge, NOT ONE of those bombs managed to explode beneath the panzer deck. Many exploded against the panzzer deck, and some (5 or 6 IIRC) perforated it, but were so badly damaged that they failed to explode.

Anyway, even hyypothesising an exploding perforating hit inside the machinery spaces, the machinery of Tirpitz was subdivided into several compartments, and even if one compartment was damaged, the ship had plenty of reserve power to continue at maximum speed. See for example the slow flooding of one of Bismarck's boiler rooms, after an underwater explosion by a 14" shell from PoW: the ship steamed on at 28kts+
All those bombs that hit Sharnhorst and went right through her in Brest did great damage. If they had been from plunging shell fire at sea wouldn't they have caused major flooding? Did they go through her because they were duds or did her decks damage them?

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:32 pm

Saltheart wrote:

All those bombs that hit Sharnhorst and went right through her in Brest did great damage. If they had been from plunging shell fire at sea wouldn't they have caused major flooding? Did they go through her because they were duds or did her decks damage them?
Those bombs were sometimes free falling fdrom 3000m, very close to the normal of the armor plates. That's far of from the conditions of a trajecetory of a 16" shell at 25km, which would be falling at 57* from the normal at best .
I don't know if they were duds, but the fact that ALL failed to explode after passing the panzer deck is interesting. And it's the same case for Gneisenau bombed at Kiel adn Tirpitz in the fjords.

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Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:38 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Saltheart wrote:

All those bombs that hit Sharnhorst and went right through her in Brest did great damage. If they had been from plunging shell fire at sea wouldn't they have caused major flooding? Did they go through her because they were duds or did her decks damage them?
Those bombs were sometimes free falling fdrom 3000m, very close to the normal of the armor plates. That's far of from the conditions of a trajecetory of a 16" shell at 25km, which would be falling at 57* from the normal at best .
I don't know if they were duds, but the fact that ALL failed to explode after passing the panzer deck is interesting. And it's the same case for Gneisenau bombed at Kiel adn Tirpitz in the fjords.
It is interesting, as you say the fact that it was all of them. The same with the 1600 pounder that penetrated Tirpitz's deck and landed in an engine room. I've always just assumed it was a dud but it seems like bombs either explode on the panzer deck or they penetrate but are too badly damaged to explode. If it is due to the deck system (and it might be) then it's a great defense. I wonder if the US 2700 pounder would have the same experience, big blast on the MAD or "dud" down below it.
I'm surprised this point hasn't been noticed before actually.

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RF
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Re: Washington

Post by RF » Tue May 01, 2012 8:23 am

Saltheart wrote: That's true I forgot about Prinz Eugen. Mind you if it wanted to torpedo Washington it would have to get to 5 km or closer to have a realistic chance and it would be under a rain of 5 inch shells and if necessary 16 inch. It's 8 inch guns would be effective against Washington's bow and stern but most would probably land in the superstructure if South Dakota's experience at Savo Island is an example.
In a prolonged engagement the Eugen presumably would stay out of range of the 5 inchers, while the 8 inch guns would degrade the Washingtons upperworks and deck along with the damage that Bismarck would do. In the course of which a lot of the 5 inch guns would be knocked out.
Now if as you say Washington turns some of its 16 inch guns on to the Eugen Bismarck benefits - as Bismarck certainly benefitted from Hood firing on Prinz Eugen.
I think it is unlikely that any of Washingtons' main armament would be deployed against a cruiser whilst being engaged by a battleship, so once Washington has its secondary batteries degraded the Eugen could try some long range torpedo spreads - who knows, look at Acasta versus Scharnhorst, and Scharnhorst was hardly under fire.....
One other point is that during the actual DS battle the Eugen obtained two below waterline hits on POW. Similar damage and more on Washington over time could slow that ship down and make torpedo attack easier.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Tue May 01, 2012 4:04 pm

Saltheart wrote: ... I wonder if the US 2700 pounder would have the same experience, big blast on the MAD or "dud" down below it.
I'm surprised this point hasn't been noticed before actually.
Well, it's no "proof" - but a hint towards an interesting argument...

Indeed, the performance of the 2700pds shells against this system would be very interesting to observe.
What can be assumed is that the shells would eb decaped by the upper deck, thus losing a good deal in mass. Moreover, the ipact obliquity is pretty bad even for that kind of gun (16"/L45) at that distance (25km), some 30.8* angle of fall, thus a 59.2* from the normal if the ships are perfectly parallel.
Impact velocity at that distance would be ~ 460m/s, and exit velocity around 420m/s. Exit angle acoording to M79APCLC 57.5* from the normal.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Tue May 01, 2012 6:14 pm

a small addition:
- Scharnhorst had a maximum of 50 + 105mm thick decks. Bismarck had up to 80 + 120mm thick decks.

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Re: Washington

Post by paul.mercer » Tue May 01, 2012 7:52 pm

RF wrote:
Saltheart wrote: That's true I forgot about Prinz Eugen. Mind you if it wanted to torpedo Washington it would have to get to 5 km or closer to have a realistic chance and it would be under a rain of 5 inch shells and if necessary 16 inch. It's 8 inch guns would be effective against Washington's bow and stern but most would probably land in the superstructure if South Dakota's experience at Savo Island is an example.
In a prolonged engagement the Eugen presumably would stay out of range of the 5 inchers, while the 8 inch guns would degrade the Washingtons upperworks and deck along with the damage that Bismarck would do. In the course of which a lot of the 5 inch guns would be knocked out.
Now if as you say Washington turns some of its 16 inch guns on to the Eugen Bismarck benefits - as Bismarck certainly benefitted from Hood firing on Prinz Eugen.
I think it is unlikely that any of Washingtons' main armament would be deployed against a cruiser whilst being engaged by a battleship, so once Washington has its secondary batteries degraded the Eugen could try some long range torpedo spreads - who knows, look at Acasta versus Scharnhorst, and Scharnhorst was hardly under fire.....
One other point is that during the actual DS battle the Eugen obtained two below waterline hits on POW. Similar damage and more on Washington over time could slow that ship down and make torpedo attack easier.
Gentlemen,
I would think that if Washington is getting a hard time on her upperworks from PE she would probably direct one of her turrets against her, a couple of 16" hits on PE would either disable her or make her back off out of range.

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Re: Washington

Post by Saltheart » Wed May 02, 2012 12:15 am

RF wrote:
Saltheart wrote: That's true I forgot about Prinz Eugen. Mind you if it wanted to torpedo Washington it would have to get to 5 km or closer to have a realistic chance and it would be under a rain of 5 inch shells and if necessary 16 inch. It's 8 inch guns would be effective against Washington's bow and stern but most would probably land in the superstructure if South Dakota's experience at Savo Island is an example.
In a prolonged engagement the Eugen presumably would stay out of range of the 5 inchers, while the 8 inch guns would degrade the Washingtons upperworks and deck along with the damage that Bismarck would do. In the course of which a lot of the 5 inch guns would be knocked out.
Now if as you say Washington turns some of its 16 inch guns on to the Eugen Bismarck benefits - as Bismarck certainly benefitted from Hood firing on Prinz Eugen.
I think it is unlikely that any of Washingtons' main armament would be deployed against a cruiser whilst being engaged by a battleship, so once Washington has its secondary batteries degraded the Eugen could try some long range torpedo spreads - who knows, look at Acasta versus Scharnhorst, and Scharnhorst was hardly under fire.....
One other point is that during the actual DS battle the Eugen obtained two below waterline hits on POW. Similar damage and more on Washington over time could slow that ship down and make torpedo attack easier.
I still think torpedo attack would be suicide at any range where they'd have a real chance of getting a hit. I know there are exceptions but in general unless you're using a long lance you're going to miss. But 8 inch hits would be useful. Shells hitting the superstructure and damaging the radars would probably be even more useful than underwater hits as they'd effect the accuracy of Washington's fire on Bismarck. Prinz Eugen was also an excellent shooter scoring hits on both Hood and Prince of Wales so it would probably land plenty on Washington. The combined fire of Bismarck and Prinz Eugen would probably start to degrade Washington's capabilities faster than Washington could wear down Bismarck. Washington's turrets could be silenced, even destroyed by Bismarck just as surely as Washington could destroy Bismark's. 16 inches of class A armor won't keep out the 38cm shell so Washington could have a bad day. I wonder if it would ultimately be driven off like POW but due to damage rather than malfunction.

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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 02, 2012 7:19 am

Saltheart wrote:... I wonder if it would ultimately be driven off like POW but due to damage rather than malfunction.
In that kind of scenario, Washington would probably go down beneath the waves.
The battle would be fought at 15-22km, pretty much ideal for the 38cm guns. As seen several times throughout the war, the Germans tended to find teh range very quickly. And if it was only one adversary, the command to open rapid fire would have been given immediately after. Washington wasn't fast enough to have real chances of avoiding 4-gun salvos coming from Bismarck's guns, and Prinz Eugen's fire would slowly take it's toll also.
At this point, the balance of power is much favoring the Germans, as Bismarck can output 24 x 38cm shells / minute, and Prinz Eugen at least twice as many 20.3cm shells. In return, Washington could hope to respond with 20 x 40.6cm shells/minute at best.
Washington's fire control would be degraded and destroyed rapidly, as most naval battles of the war showed (the distribution of hits over an enemy target tends to be in the superstructures/main turrets rather than in teh sides, especialy at ranges > 15km).

Bismarck's redundancy systems would ensure continuation of the battle even with some elements disabled/destroyed. Washington also had built-in redundancy, but not in the amount seen on Bismarck.

I would estimate that 20 minutes into the battle Washington would be totaly silenced, listing heavily and completely on fire.

That would be a nice time for PE to lauch a spread of torpedoes from 3-4km away.

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Rick Rather
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Re: Washington

Post by Rick Rather » Wed May 02, 2012 10:44 am

In such a DS scenario, rather than Washington going it alone, I would assume that Norfolk & Suffolk would be ordered to join the fight.

I've actually played and refereed a Bismark vs. North Carolina scenario several times over the years, using a couple of different systems (Battlewagon and Command at Sea). It's my standard scenario for introducing new players to whichever system I'm using. Every time I've run it, it comes down to the same thing: The side that scores the first main turret hit on the other wins.

Whereas they start fairly equal - NC has one more barrel, Bismarck has a tighter pattern - NC losing a turret gives Bismarck a >30% advantage in firepower (8 barrels to 6), and Bismarck losing one gives NC a ~50% advantage (6 barrels to 9). This asymetry in both the probability to hit and the number of hits per unit time very quickly gets out of hand, and the unlucky ship must withdraw or die. In one run, both sides scored turret hits at the same time, giving them 6 barrels each. In that event, the next turret hit determined the winner (3 for NC vs 6 for Bismarck, or 4 to 6 Bismarck vs NC - I forget who got it).

History buffs & warship officianados love to discuss the differences and advantages of each nuance of gun & shell vs armor. As a gamer, I've learned that duels pretty much come down to dumb luck. Please refer any disagreement to Holland, Lütjens & Hintze.

Once you start throwing more ships and weapons into the mix - PE w/ torpedoes and possibly Norfolk & Suffolk, well then the tactics get interesting... :cool:
Just because it's stupid, futile and doomed to failure, that doesn't mean some officer won't try it.
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Re: Washington

Post by alecsandros » Wed May 02, 2012 11:05 am

Indeed.

What is rather surprising is that in the real naval battles of the war, debilitating main turret hits were quite rare.
For example, in the Denmark Strait battle, out of the 15-17 hits obtained by both sides, not one was on a main turret or barbette.
Even during Bismarck's last battle, with the ship barely making 7kts, her main turrets were still pretty much intact at 9:20, even Anton and Bruno firing one last salvo at ~9:30.

In fact, now that I think about it, the only 2 cases when a heavy turret was destroyed by shell fire was Kirishima being blasted at 8km distance and Dunkerque taking a 15" shell hit from Hood at Mers-el-Kebir, distance ~15km, while at anchor.

And both those ships were actualy battlecruisers... not battleships... by WW2 standards... and their turrets were armored as such.

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