Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

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dunmunro
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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:04 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
dunmunro wrote: but I'd say that a County with modern radar systems could beat PE, .
How modern? 1960's? A county is going to be hard pressed to carry more modern radar systems than PG at any time during the war.
If we replace Scharnhorst with PE at North Cape, then I'd say that Norfolk, alone, would probably win.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:20 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:
dunmunro wrote:[This is from AJ Watts, The Loss of the Scharnhorst, p77-78:

http://www.sfu.ca/~dmunro/images/NC_gunnery.jpg

I'm afraid Mr. Watts doesn't know what he's talking about when he describes the performance of the German radar. The bearing accuracy was 0.10*. The range was not read off by visual comparison, but electronically. The discrimination for range on the fine range indicator could be as fine as 10 meters.

It should also be pointed out that Scharnhorst targeted the Norfolk during the second skirmish and opened fire on it before the Norfolk opened fire.
All the accounts I've read about North Cape indicate that on all 3 occasions when the RN encountered Scharnhorst, including the first two cruiser actions, that the RN opened fire first and on each occasion Scharnhorst appeared to have been taken by complete surprise.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by alecsandros » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:25 pm

dunmunro wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote:
dunmunro wrote: but I'd say that a County with modern radar systems could beat PE, .
How modern? 1960's? A county is going to be hard pressed to carry more modern radar systems than PG at any time during the war.
If we replace Scharnhorst with PE at North Cape, then I'd say that Norfolk, alone, would probably win.
Why's that ?

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:34 pm

alecsandros wrote:

Why's that ?
Based upon Scharnhorst's performance, it seems likely that Norfolk would hit first and would have a gunnery advantage in the conditions encountered at North Cape. Also, if Norfolk replaced Sheffield and Jamaica at Barents Sea, again, it seems likely that Norfolk would have defeated Hipper.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by alecsandros » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:48 pm

The hits obtained by Norfolk, Sheffield and Jamaica were at 10-12km range;

Why do you suppose Prinz Eugen would not respond effectively at such a range ?

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by dunmunro » Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:57 pm

alecsandros wrote:The hits obtained by Norfolk, Sheffield and Jamaica were at 10-12km range;

Why do you suppose Prinz Eugen would not respond effectively at such a range ?
I'm not saying that she wouldn't have replied, but she would definitely have been hit first, and depending on the damage inflicted by those hits, she might not have been able to effectively reply and/or escape.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:47 am

dunmunro wrote:All the accounts I've read about North Cape indicate that on all 3 occasions when the RN encountered Scharnhorst, including the first two cruiser actions, that the RN opened fire first and on each occasion Scharnhorst appeared to have been taken by complete surprise.
German accounts, based on the testimony of survivors, are fairly consistent that SH had Burnett on radar tracking it for some time prior to the second skirmish and had pre-selected Norfolk as the target. I think they would know. Berenbok's account given in Augen Durch Nach und Nebel, throw question of if SH was completely surprized during the first enccounter as well. Having studied this for years I now think the critical mistake by Bey wasn't so much his use (or miss-use) of radar, but becoming seperated from his DDs. Without that factor he mostly likely never gets surprized and holds the inititive.
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 ?

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:09 am

dunmunro wrote:If we replace Scharnhorst with PE at North Cape, then I'd say that Norfolk, alone, would probably win.
If the events go exactly the same way right up to the direct hit on the forward radar, then I agree that's likely. But in war things rarely go according to the script. Without that, I don't see Norfolk likely prevailing, and if it comes down to a slug fest with both sides having taken damage, and with radars lost; Norfolk is at a greater and greater disadvantage in my opinion. The later into the war, the more the initial advantage shifts to PG.
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 ?

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:19 am

but she (PG) would definitely have been hit first
How can this be difinate? It could easily happen the other way around.
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 ?

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:38 am

Dave Saxton wrote:
but she (PG) would definitely have been hit first
How can this be difinate? It could easily happen the other way around.
In all 4 encounters (Hipper at Barents Sea and 3 engagements against Scharnhorst at North Cape) the RN shot first and hit first.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:58 pm

No, that doesn't mean that it will happen again. Thats not the way the rules of probability work.

In the second engagement with Burnett's cruisers, the British never hit the Scharnhorst at all- much less first. The Scharnhorst opened fire as soon as Belfast fired starshell. Scharnhorst opened fire on Norfolk, and then Norfolk opened fire. SH quickly hit the Norfolk effectively knocking it out of the battle and then shifted target to the Sheffield. On Norfolk X turret was knocked out and all the radars with the exception of the 284 were knocked out. On Sheffield shell splinters (SH was using HE) penetrated the machinery spaces and damaged the boilers. ( Battle Summary 24.)
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 ?

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:02 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:No, that doesn't mean that it will happen again. Thats not the way the rules of probability work.

In the second engagement with Burnett's cruisers, the British never hit the Scharnhorst at all- much less first. The Scharnhorst opened fire as soon as Belfast fired starshell. Scharnhorst opened fire on Norfolk, and then Norfolk opened fire. SH quickly hit the Norfolk effectively knocking it out of the battle and then shifted target to the Sheffield. On Norfolk X turret was knocked out and all the radars with the exception of the 284 were knocked out. On Sheffield shell splinters (SH was using HE) penetrated the machinery spaces and damaged the boilers. ( Battle Summary 24.)
I'm afraid that my reading of the same sources doesn't support your sequence of events:

36. C.S.10 concentrated the 36th Division on
his starboard bow and at 1219 altered course to
100; the enemy course and speed was estimated
at 240, 20 knots. A minute later the
SCHARNHORST appeared to alter slightly to
the westward, at 1221 SHEFFIELD reported
enemy in sight and Force 1 was ordered to open
fire at a range of 11,000 yards.

39. At 1233 NORFOLK received one hit
through the barbette of " X " turret, which put
the turret out of action and the magazine was
flooded as a precaution; a second shell hit
amidships. All radar became unserviceable
except Type 284 and one officer and six ratings
were killed and five ratings seriously wounded.
At the same time an eleven inch salvo straddled
SHEFFIELD and several pieces of shell described
by C.S.10 as "up to football size "
came inboard; fragments also penetrated the
ship at various points. (however no evidence of boiler damage which is not surprising as they are behind armour and well protected from splinters -DM)
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/L ... /38038.pdf
at 1607 or 1610 Sheffield reported a shaft problem and had to reduce speed but this seems unrelated to the previous action and was probably caused by overspeeding the shafts in the prevailing rough seas.

There is an unfortunate mistake in the chart PLAN 1 that accompanies the above despatch which shows Norfolk being hit at 12:21 but this is a typo and it should read 12:33 and this is readily apparent from the position of Norfolk on the chart which is a considerable ways from the open fire position. B.S. 24 reads: "At 12:33 - 12 minutes after the action started - Norfolk received 2 hits..." B.S. 24 states that at least 5 x 6in and 1 x 8in (at 1224) hits on Scharnhorst were observed by the RN cruisers during their 2nd engagement.

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by Dave Saxton » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:31 pm

Certainly looks like my version of events to me, especially when combined with other testimony from both sides.
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 ?

Post by dunmunro » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:50 pm

Dave Saxton wrote:Certainly looks like my version of events to me, especially when combined with other testimony from both sides.
???

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Re: Best WW2 heavy cruiser = Prinz Eugen ?

Post by Lutscha » Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Dave, could you name the primary sources for the Seetakt values, they are met with great scepticism elsewhere (which is no surprise), or are you wating till your work is published?

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