Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

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RF
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby RF » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:26 am

I might add that the Eugen's hits did arguably cause more damage to POW than the four Bismarck hits - all four were ''glancing blows'' exemplified by the compass platform hit, whereas two of the Eugen hits struck below the waterline of POW and caused substantial flooding.
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby alecsandros » Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:43 pm

RF wrote:I might add that the Eugen's hits did arguably cause more damage to POW than the four Bismarck hits - all four were ''glancing blows'' exemplified by the compass platform hit, whereas two of the Eugen hits struck below the waterline of POW and caused substantial flooding.

... True, Bismarck caused flooding via 1 underwater hit, while Prinz Eugen obtained 2 underwater hits.
It's a little to much to analyse the 2-3 minutes of fire exchanged between BS/PE and PoW, as it happened so fast under such extreme circumstances (rate of approach and then rate of withdrawal of 1.2km/minute, smoke, debris, abrupt course changes for both sides) to serve as any indication over the effective shooting for either ship in "normal" conditions.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby Dave Saxton » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:23 pm

alecsandros wrote:
Byron Angel wrote:Japanese cruisers at the Battle of the Komandorskis scored several hits at +/- 20,000 yards under difficult gunnery conditions.

B

Point taken,
Yet the hits at Komandorski happened over a long period of time (3 hours or so), and hit rates were ~ 0.4% or so. Prinz Eugen hit Hood rapidly and kept hiting her and Prince of Wales at Denmark Strait.

@Slaterat
Exeter may have obtained hits at 20.000y, but that is highly debatable (especialy because there is no documented evidence for the timing of the hits, hence for the probable range between Exeter and Graf Spee at the time of the hits. Dave makes a good case for 19-21km hits FROM Graf Spee TO Exeter, but when were the 2 x 8" hits scored ON Graf Spee is much harder to know. Also the available evidence for RN 8" cruiser shooting does not show any other hits at 20.000yards or beyond).


Yes, at Barents Sea Hipper scored more than twice as many hits, expending less than 10% as much ammo as the Japanese at Komandorski. I don't know of any example of poor shooting by a Hipper in any conditions.

Actually, at River Plate when Exeter's hits were scored is known exactly. It was with Exeter's 3rd and 4th salvos shortly after it completed its turn to course 275T. It scored no additional hits for the remainder of the battle.
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby Dave Saxton » Mon Mar 02, 2015 2:44 pm

slaterat wrote: So for a 66 percnt increase in tonnage what do you really get with the PE ?


The Baltimores were as big as the Prinz Eugen, and the Des Moines were bigger yet. Why was everyone designing and building much larger heavy cruisers than Exeter? One reason was the need for much stronger AAA to better meet the growing threat of airpower. These more modern designs not only featured DP heavy flak batteries (PG 10.5cm DP and Baltimore 5"/38) but also elborate firecontrol systems to support these batteries in the AA role. PG also had more elaborate under water protection, roll stabilization, more advanced damage control systems, advanced communications and sensors, and elaborate medical facilities. All these needful things added up in terms of displacement and required personal.

Additional advantages of more modern construction were more advanced materials such as St-52 construction steel, and WHnA armour, welded construction, more advanced and more capable electrical systems, and greater pumping capacity....ect...
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: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby RF » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:22 pm

Dave Saxton wrote: I don't know of any example of poor shooting by a Hipper in any conditions.


Not even against Glowworm - at zero range?
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby Guest » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:37 pm


Actually, at River Plate when Exeter's hits were scored is known exactly. It was with Exeter's 3rd and 4th salvos shortly after it completed its turn to course 275T. It scored no additional hits for the remainder of the battle.

That was around 6:25 or so ?

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby alecsandros » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:15 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
Actually, at River Plate when Exeter's hits were scored is known exactly. It was with Exeter's 3rd and 4th salvos shortly after it completed its turn to course 275T. It scored no additional hits for the remainder of the battle.

... 6:25 or so ?

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:09 am

RF wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote: I don't know of any example of poor shooting by a Hipper in any conditions.


Not even against Glowworm - at zero range?


The shooting doesn't appear to be poor. Once Heye had finally confirmed which destroyer was the friendly he gave permission to open fire. Hipper bracketed the target with salvos one and two. Salvo three straddled and yielded one direct hit on the bridge. Then Turret Anton became wooded because the Hipper turned to comb the tracks of enemy torpedoes.Turret Dora was used used in place of Anton for two follow up salvos. Coming back on around the enemy became shrouded in a smoke screen by then, but Hipper could still see the masts above the smoke so using radar ranging it reengaged and continued to score hits with both the main and DP batteries. A second torpedo salvo forced Hipper to once again take evasive action while the destroyer became completely shrouded in smoke. That's when Heye decided to steam through the smoke screen and found Glowworm trying to ram as he came out the other side.
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: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:17 am

alecsandros wrote:... 6:25 or so ?


Exeter opened fire at 0620. It probably had fired both salvo 3 and 4 well prior to 0625.
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: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby RF » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:51 am

Dave Saxton wrote:
RF wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote: I don't know of any example of poor shooting by a Hipper in any conditions.


Not even against Glowworm - at zero range?


The shooting doesn't appear to be poor. Once Heye had finally confirmed which destroyer was the friendly he gave permission to open fire. Hipper bracketed the target with salvos one and two. Salvo three straddled and yielded one direct hit on the bridge. Then Turret Anton became wooded because the Hipper turned to comb the tracks of enemy torpedoes.Turret Dora was used used in place of Anton for two follow up salvos. Coming back on around the enemy became shrouded in a smoke screen by then, but Hipper could still see the masts above the smoke so using radar ranging it reengaged and continued to score hits with both the main and DP batteries. A second torpedo salvo forced Hipper to once again take evasive action while the destroyer became completely shrouded in smoke. That's when Heye decided to steam through the smoke screen and found Glowworm trying to ram as he came out the other side.


What I was getting at was that Heye allowed his command to be rammed by an enemy vessel, a vessel his ship very heavily outgunned and on paper could and should have blown out of the water before it could close to zero range.
Weather and poor visibility aided Glowworm and Hipper having to manoeuvre violently to avoid torpedoes didn't help. Surely in such a situation it would be better not to risk the big ship but to order the other destroyers to tackle Glowworm from opposite flanks. I think the whole problem stems from all the German ships being loaded with invasion troops and thus not at full fighting efficiency - with five inch guns the German destroyers should have been more than a match for Glowworm.
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:48 pm

^^ Agreed.
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: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby culverin » Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:28 pm

MikeBrough wrote:In a one-on-one fight, I wouldn't expect a County to stand up to PE for long. However, does anyone have a note of the comparative commissioning costs of the 2 classes? If I could get two Counties for the same outlay as one PE, I'd side with the RN.

The RN had 11 assorted county class plus the 2 RAN ships which pre dated all the 3 completed German 8" by over 1 decade.
Do you have a price as completed for the German ships.
I can give you those for the 5 RN Kent class in £ sterling and if Prinz Eugen exceeded £4.2 million then she was twice as expensive, but almost twice the displacement. She was seriously flawed for the 2nd half of the 30's decade with armour similar to a County and a 75% increase in power for an extra knot.
Bear in mind the Kent class kept to the spirit of the Washington treaty. Everyone at that time used the treaty as if it was the legal requirement, not the limit per se.
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby slaterat » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:56 pm

I think at River Plate the Exeter demonstrated that RN cruisers were as well designed, crewed or resilient as the cruisers of any navy. The Japanese waited until they had a 4 to 1 advantage against the Exeter before they engaged in the second Battle of Java Sea and even then the battle lasted for 2 hours before the Exeter was scuttled.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby VoidSamukai » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:17 am

Though the PE was a powerful WW2, I'm not so sure about the "Best WW2 Heavy Cruiser". I would imgaine the Baltimore class were the more powerful type, with powerful guns and decent protection. Then again she was built a while after PE was built, so she had time to learn from prior lessons of cruiser construction.

There are a few comtempories that could also take claim, like the formentioned Mogami class or the Takao class, as well as the Witcha. I think they too make decent contendors.

And no, the Alaska class is no Heavy cruiser. I can sorta see the large cruiser argument (though I still say she is a battlecruiser) but no way does she say Heavy cruiser to me.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Postby alecsandros » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:11 pm

... Prinz Eugen had some traits which aren't easily observed.
For example, her guns had the longest accurate range of 203mm guns installed on cruisers in the war. [accurate, because Zara had longer range, but at the cost of massive battery scatter].

Her sensor system - GhG, 3 radars, etc, was without parallel until mid-war.

Finaly, because of her production, PE was a stable gun platform, and her consorts have the "records" in terms of hitting rates of heavy cruisers in the war.


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