Beauty & the Beast

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
alecsandros
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by alecsandros » Mon Aug 05, 2013 12:20 pm

My impression is that the Littorio had poor horizontal protection on the outboard of the deck.

I don;'t know why did the Italian designers opted for a 50% reduction in thickness on the outboard of the deck above the magazines....

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Ersatz Yorck
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by Ersatz Yorck » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:57 pm

To be fair, the Fritz X was a very heavy bomb, 1400 kg, twice as heavy as the bombs that struck the USS Arizona.

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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by kevin32422 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Interesting match up I think the German crew was better trained looking at all the sea battles Italy and Germany was in during WWII the Germans knew what to do with their ships more so than the Italians they just didn't have the numbers to hang with England, USA, Russia, Canada, ect. better training goes along way my money is on the Bismarck although Italy may get in a couple big hits.

delcyros
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by delcyros » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:21 pm

To be fair, the italian dispersion issues appear not to have been as grave as the french ones (new BB´s) in this period by a considerable margin.
500m total dispersion is quite low, actually. That equals to roughly ~300m 1 sigma probability and that´s roughly as good or poor as in other navies.
LITTORIO has some advantages in striking power, and in armour quality and -protection- at least against naval artillery shells, compared to BISMARCK for the embedded and exposed vitals. The total armour protection of BISMARCK covers more area and appears to be more complete, however.
I would also expect BISMARCK to be able to deal better with any damage than LITTORIO, the principal reason beeing the very pronounced difference in metacentric stability between both vessels. Thus, any waterplane flooding related penetration is likely to have less detremental effect on the fighting capability of the battleship.
On the other hand, in good weather conditions, LITTORIO may not be rapidly exposed here and likely the result is more correlated with non-technical factors beyond the scope of these types of comparisons.

alecsandros
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by alecsandros » Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:47 pm

delcyros wrote:To be fair, the italian dispersion issues appear not to have been as grave as the french ones (new BB´s) in this period by a considerable margin.
500m total dispersion is quite low, actually..
... USS Massachussets had about 250m dispersion for 6 and 9-gun salvos at Casablanca. Range 20-22km.
... KGM Tirpitz recorded dispersions of 120-140m for 4-gun salvos fired at 25km.
... HMS Rodney recorded dispersions of 300m for 4 and 5-gun salvos at 18km.

Having 500m dispersions for 3-gun salvos at 20-22km is very much. [hystorical performance of Vittorio Venetto at Matapan]

This is probably the reason why the Littorios did not sink any vessels during the war, and hardly managed to hit anything... By contrast, battleships such as Warspite, Massachussets, Washington, Bismarck, made devastating hits on their opponents in very short time intervals ...

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RF
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by RF » Sun Dec 29, 2013 5:23 pm

alecsandros wrote: Having 500m dispersions for 3-gun salvos at 20-22km is very much. [hystorical performance of Vittorio Venetto at Matapan]

This is probably the reason why the Littorios did not sink any vessels during the war, and hardly managed to hit anything...
Was this issue not recognised by Supermarina? After all the Italians did have some reasonably competant fleet commanders such as Admiral Iachino..
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by alecsandros » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:28 pm

From my reads so far, the problems were manyfold. There were quality issues with the 381mm shells, lack of delay coils to the main guns, frequent break-downs of the RPC system, primitive or non-existent gunnery radar sets...

The dispersion of Vittorio Veneto at Matapan appears in photos of the time - at least 500m for 3-gun salvos...

HMS Perth at Matapan, under fire from ~ 22km. 3-gun salvo from Veneto:
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paul.mercer
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by paul.mercer » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:35 pm

Ersatz Yorck wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Personally I would put my money on the German ship because I think their fighting capabilities and crew training would be far better than the Italians.
I realy don't think the Italian ship could have lived with either Bismarck or Tirpitz, particularly if they started getting hit at regular intervals.
This might be based more on feeling than technical facts, but the Littorios seem rather brittle. The Roma was sunk by just two bomb hits (yes, guided bombs, but still only two hits), I have trouble imagining any other battleship sinking from just two bomb hits.
You are absoloutly correct, my post was based on feeling, I think that if the chips were down and both ships were taking heavy damage the German crew would be more disciplined and able to cope with rectifying the situation.

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aurora
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by aurora » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:18 pm

THE SINKING OF THE ROMA
At 1545 there was another attack. The AA batteries opened fire, but again the bomber was beyond the range of their guns. The Do 217 released its bomb and maintained its position as the bomb hurtled downward toward the Italian fleet. Sure enough, as it came in, it became sickeningly obvious that the bomb was being steered to the target.

The bomb struck Roma on its starboard side aft of amidships, crashing through the ship’s seven decks, and exited the hull before exploding beneath the keel. The boiler rooms and after engine room flooded, disabling the two inboard propellers. Electrical arcing started innumerable fires throughout the after portion of the ship. Her speed now reduced to 12 knots, the Roma fell out of the battle group. By now, many of the ship’s electrically controlled systems, its directors and gun mounts were out.

At 1552, Roma was hit by a second bomb, again on the starboard side, this time detonating inside the forward engine room. The forward magazine detonated. There was heavy flooding in the magazines of main battery turret No. 2 as well as the forward portside secondary battery turret. A few moments later the No. 2 turret’s magazines exploded, blowing the entire turret skyward. The forward superstructure was destroyed with it, killing Bergamini, the ship’s captain, Adone Del Cima, and nearly everyone else there. Fires had broken out all over the ship. Whoever wasn’t killed was burned horribly. At 1612, Roma began going down, bow first. Then, her starboard decks awash, the Roma capsized, broke in two and sank. By 1615, she was gone, with 1,253 of her crew of 1,849 officers and men dead.

What sent Roma to the bottom was the first of a wholly new class of weapon, known today as precision guided munitions (PGM). This PGM in particular was a massive 3,450-pound, armor-piercing, radio-controlled, glide bomb, which the Luftwaffe called Fritz-X. It had been developed on the tails of the Hs 294, a more complex, but somewhat less effective, winged rocket, also deployed from a D0 217 bomber. Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the Hs 293 had already made its debut two weeks earlier, when it sank one British warship and seriously damaged two others in the Bay of Biscay.
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

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aurora
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by aurora » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:37 pm

Images of the Roma sinking

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Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

Jim

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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by Mostlyharmless » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:28 am

The Littorio Class ships do have one huge advantage over almost every other battleship, which relates to the unusual design of the rear 381 mm turret and barbette. The Littorios could fire all 9 guns only 20 degrees off directly ahead because the rear turret could fire over the secondary turrets. The extra weight of the longer barbette and the stability issues created by the higher turret were accepted to allow an aggressive pursuit of an enemy force in the best tradition of the Italian Navy.

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RF
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by RF » Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:41 pm

But was such aggressive pursuit ever carried out?
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aurora
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Re: Beauty & the Beast

Post by aurora » Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:38 pm

The nearest the RM ever came anywhere close to such an action "could" have been at the Battle of Cape Spartivento; but it did not happen-correct me if I am wrong.
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Jim

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