Intercepting Force H

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
dunmunro
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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by dunmunro » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:11 am

What G&D call "full load" is really not full load since it excludes about 1400mt of fuel, that can be (and was) carried.

so 37224 tonnes + 1400 tonnes of oil fuel = ~ 38600 tonnes as the design standard full load

G&D give Gneisenau's 1935 (design) standard displacement as 31632 tonnes yet upon completion the two ships were nearly identical in terms of weight :

31632t
7375t (fluids)
= full load of 39008 tonnes as the design standard full load.

Then we have to add all the weight added from completion up to Dec 1943 and a full load displacement of well over 40,000mt is inevitable.

Tirpitz had a full load displacment of 49429 tonnes, in 1940 but by 1944 this had risen to ~53500 tons, yet are we are supposed to believe that S&G showed no weight growth over their service lives?

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by alecsandros » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:26 am

Where did you read that the extra fuel was actualy carried ? G&D mention "full load" of 37200t in 1940 and 38100t in 1943.

What sources do you have pertaining Scharnhorst or Gneisenau were loaded at any point at anything more than 37 - 38.000 tons ?

Where would a smaller ship store more cargo than her larger cousin ?

How would Scharnhorst be expected to fight with 3m of freeboard ? (meaing that the entire main armor belt be submerged, and the waterline be protected by the 50mm upper belt !)

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by dunmunro » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:58 am

alecsandros wrote:Where did you read that the extra fuel was actualy carried ? G&D mention "full load" of 37200t in 1940 and 38100t in 1943.

What sources do you have pertaining Scharnhorst or Gneisenau were loaded at any point at anything more than 37 - 38.000 tons ?

Where would a smaller ship store more cargo than her larger cousin ?

How would Scharnhorst be expected to fight with 3m of freeboard ? (meaing that the entire main armor belt be submerged, and the waterline be protected by the 50mm upper belt !)
Koop and Schmolke state that the design standard displacement for S/G was 31552 / 31563 tonnes (this implies a full load of ~38900 tonnes) and what S&G call "full load" they call "operational load". They give an actual standard displacement of 32639/32604 tonnes, and an operational load of ~38430 tonnes which implies a full load of ~40000 tonnes.

They state a 1943 standard displacement for S as 32358 tons (note previous sentence), but I find that hard to believe since the weight growth is so low, only ~800 tons and it implies a full load of about 39700 tons. They state an operational maximum load of 39643 tonnes for S in 1943, which implies a full load of ~40,900 tonnes. I assume that combat was to be avoided until the ship reached it's operational maximum. They give an operational draught for S of 9.93m at 38713 tons versus a freeboard of 14.05m, so they obviously allowed for a deeper draught, ~10.1m at operational maximum.

A careful reading of Koop shows that full load was 40,670 tonnes for Scharnhorst; 32639 standard and 8031 tonnes of additional fuel and water, over and above the amount included in standard displacement. However, Koop also states:
Before passing through the Kiel Canal the ships were required to observe the regulations relating to draught and for this purpose unloaded unnecessary oil, particularly fuel oil, which could be re-shipped relatively quickly afterwards. The same procedure had to be followed before entering the lock at No 111 Entrance, Wilhelmshaven. When fully bunkered the ships trimmed bow-heavy and for this reason they frequently took on less than a full load of oil. The tendency of the bows to plunge was counteracted to some extent by only partially filling the forward bunkers or leaving them empty. Whatever oil was in them would be used first.
However, it is apparent from comments regarding ocean raids, that both ships did sometimes leave port with full bunkers and in several cases paid heavily for it as, for example, after Dec 28 1940 when G was severely damaged by an Atlantic storm and their cruise had to be postponed several months, and even then both ships suffered weather damage from Atlantic storms.

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Scharnhorst speed and draft

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:45 am

31500 tons standard is close to G&D and in line with reality.
You are probably correct in naming "operational load" the 37200t (1940) / 38100t (1943)

G&D give 9,93meters draft at 38100 tons, and freeboard of 4 meters. Draft at standard displacement was 8.3meters.

The photos I've seen so far show Schar/Gneis with at least 4 meters of freeboard amidships, so, at least at the time of the photos were taken, the ships had a max draft of 10 meters.

A load of 40.000 tons, or close to it, would imply a draft of ~ 10,8meters or more, and a freeboard of 3,2 meters.
The upper belt, of 50mm thickness, had a height of 2,8meters.

So only 0,4 meters would remain above the water from the main armor belt.
IT is difficult to see these ships in combat in such conditions.

===

Maximum possible load is more of a theoretical idea, as the realistic constraints would not allow for operations at those loads.

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by paul.mercer » Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:36 pm

alecsandros wrote:
paul.mercer wrote: I have to repeat what I tried to say in another post, I really do not understand why it almost always seems to be assumed that German capital ships are so much better than those of the RN, i.e. faster, better armour, better guns, better shells, better range finders,
Because the body of evidence available thus far indicates that.
I'm sorry, but I find this difficult to accept, there appears to be a body of people who seemto think that the German capital ships wre almost invincible.I agree that Bismarck & Tirpitz were very powerful ships, although the latter was never tested in battle. Bismarck was and she laid claim to her myth by defeating an old outdated battlecruiser and a new untried battleship that had less than half it's guns working but when she was finally caught and disabled we are told that British 14" & 16" shells could not penetrate her even at point blank range - which I find extraordinary. Likewise we are told that Scharnhorst was so well armoured that 14" shells apparently had little effect and would even withstand the British 15", but if I read the quotes correctly her 11" could shoot DoY, Warspite and almost anything else full of holes!
Come on chaps, give the Brits some credit!

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by Byron Angel » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:39 am

I think that a certain imprecision of language sometimes creeps into our discussions. For example, when the claim is made the BISMARCK's vertical protection could not be "penetrated", the true sense of the statement is NOT that her main belt alone could majestically defeat all manner of projectiles known to mankind, but that her overall vertical armor scheme (belt + heavy scarp) was arguably able to prevent any known WW2 projectile fired at any range from physically reaching into her vitals (machinery spaces, magazines, schnapps locker, etc) below the armor deck. This is not to say, however, that complete and utter havoc could not be created in the spaces behind the armor belt and above the armored deck. That having been said, there is a great deal we do not know about the true nature of damage suffered under heavy caliber gunfire by ships like BISMARCK and SCHARNHORST; the invulnerability claims are largely based upon theoretical calculations - at which so many of us here do excel ;-). These calculations do sway me, but I also like to keep in mind that the devil is always in the details and no one REALLY knows for certain how BISMARCK's armor scheme actually stood up to the physical test of combat.

There is no denying that BISMARCK was a very well designed warship. However, in a broader sense, it appears to have actually been quite difficult in WW2 to physically sink any capital ship old or new by gunfire alone. HOOD and BRETAGNE are the only examples which come to mind. They could be crippled or neutralized by gunfire to be sure (as was BISMARCK), but BISMARCK, SCHARNHORST, HIEI, KIRISHIMA, YAMASHIRO and FUSO were all ultimately ushered into the deep by aerial attack or torpedoes.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by alecsandros » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:47 am

paul.mercer wrote: I'm sorry, but I find this difficult to accept, there appears to be a body of people who seemto think that the German capital ships wre almost invincible.
The British ships deserve credit, but more credit should go to their commanders and officers, who were brave enough to confront the adversary even on unequal terms (charge of the Gloworm or the battle for Barent Sea for example).

As designs, the Bismarck class were beyond their contemporaries, in terms of overall protection, armament and speed.
But they were also beyond the Washington Treaty, with 7500 tons (Tirpitz), being more close to the Vanguard class (10.000 tons beyond the treaty) and Iowa class (11.000 tons beyond the treaty).
2 other contemporary designs, the Littorio and Richelieu, were 5000-6000 beyond treaty limits.
The Yamato's were in class of their own, 30.000 tons beyond treaty limitiations...

Thus, these ships should be treated somewhat differently than the "correct" treaty battleships (KGV, Nelson, North Carolina, South Dakota, Nagato classes)

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by alecsandros » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:49 am

Byron Angel wrote: KIRISHIMA, YAMASHIRO and FUSO were all ultimately ushered into the deep by aerial attack or torpedoes.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B
Wasn't Kirishima scuttled by her crew after being pounded by the 16" of Washington ?

Anyway, true battleship battles were very rare in WW2, and that's another reason why there were so few of them sunk by gunfire alone.

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by Byron Angel » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:09 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: KIRISHIMA, YAMASHIRO and FUSO were all ultimately ushered into the deep by aerial attack or torpedoes.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B
Wasn't Kirishima scuttled by her crew after being pounded by the 16" of Washington ?

Anyway, true battleship battles were very rare in WW2, and that's another reason why there were so few of them sunk by gunfire alone.

..... Gunfire seems in general not to be an expedient method of actually sinking warships. Short of the odd ammunition explosion, the overall powers of resistance to gunfire displayed by ships, even as unassuming as DDs, is IMO noteworthy.

B

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by alecsandros » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:30 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote: KIRISHIMA, YAMASHIRO and FUSO were all ultimately ushered into the deep by aerial attack or torpedoes.

Strictly my opinion, of course.

B
Wasn't Kirishima scuttled by her crew after being pounded by the 16" of Washington ?

Anyway, true battleship battles were very rare in WW2, and that's another reason why there were so few of them sunk by gunfire alone.

..... Gunfire seems in general not to be an expedient method of actually sinking warships. Short of the odd ammunition explosion, the overall powers of resistance to gunfire displayed by ships, even as unassuming as DDs, is IMO noteworthy.

B
You're thinking about WW1 battles also ?

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by Byron Angel » Sat Feb 02, 2013 1:59 pm

alecsandros wrote: You're thinking about WW1 battles also ?

Yes ... I'd say that WW1 supports this view as well, if one discounts the British losses at Jutland as aberrant functions of dangerously unstable propellant.

B

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by alecsandros » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:44 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
alecsandros wrote: You're thinking about WW1 battles also ?

Yes ... I'd say that WW1 supports this view as well, if one discounts the British losses at Jutland as aberrant functions of dangerously unstable propellant.

B
That's true; there were so many battleships/battlecruisers hit by 15-20 or more large caliber shells, and still, they survived...

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by paulcadogan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 1:59 pm

Byron Angel wrote:I'd say that WW1 supports this view as well, if one discounts the British losses at Jutland as aberrant functions of dangerously unstable propellant.
Not sure it was "dangerously unstable" - it was abandonment of safety procedures, the stacking of cordite outside of "protected" areas in order to maintain a high rate of fire, allowing flash to propagate easily through the system....
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by alecsandros » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:05 pm

paulcadogan wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:I'd say that WW1 supports this view as well, if one discounts the British losses at Jutland as aberrant functions of dangerously unstable propellant.
Not sure it was "dangerously unstable" - it was abandonment of safety procedures, the stacking of cordite outside of "protected" areas in order to maintain a high rate of fire, allowing flash to propagate easily through the system....
The problem, as described by the Admiraly, was the thin armor belt, which was perforated repeatedly by 11 and 12" gunfire... With better protection, there would have been no problem - or at least they would not have been that catastrophic.

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Re: Intercepting Force H

Post by paulcadogan » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:19 pm

alecsandros wrote:The problem, as described by the Admiraly, was the thin armor belt, which was perforated repeatedly by 11 and 12" gunfire... With better protection, there would have been no problem - or at least they would not have been that catastrophic.
I believe there was some sort of cover-up or denial of the fact that the dangerous ammo handling was done on orders - the practice making a much larger area vulnerable. I also believe it was penetration of the gun house rather than the side belt in many of the cases (much more exposed) resulting in the flash which then made its way down to the magazines (as was the case with Lion - with the chain reaction prevented by the order to close the magazine doors).

The report that implicated the safety infringements was quashed by Jellicoe - so naturally the Admiralty would chalk it up to weak armour alone.
Qui invidet minor est - He who envies is the lesser man

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