Prince of Wales V SoDak

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Gary
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Prince of Wales V SoDak

Post by Gary » Mon May 22, 2006 10:55 pm

Can a large, heavily armoured but lightly gunned British Battleship defeat a small but heavily armed US battleship?

POW has thicker belt armour and is a larger ship.

SoDak has 16" guns firing 2700 lbs shells as opposed to POW which has 14" guns firing 1590 lbs shells.

You can go by history and assume that POW has her historical gun breakdowns and that SoDak has her circuit breakers trip out at the most inconvienient moment if you wish or you can assume both are fully operational. :lol:

Which had the better fire control?
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Post by Bgile » Tue May 23, 2006 12:31 am

First, why do you say PoW is “large” compared to S. Dakota? I believe they were about the same size.

I don’t have any reason to believe either ship had better fire control than the other.

Let’s compare firepower.

S. Dakota penetrates PoW’s deck armor at ranges over 25K yds. She penetrates 15” side armor at 25K yds or less.

PoW can penetrate S. Dakota’s belt armor somewhere between 10K and 15K yds. She can’t ever penetrate the turret armor. She can’t ever penetrate S. Dakota’s deck armor.

I’d give a huge advantage to S. Dakota due to a much more powerful armament.

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Post by marcelo_malara » Tue May 23, 2006 3:16 am

Which had the better fire control?
Revising my sources, I found that PoW had the Mk IX version of the Admiralty Fire Control Table, which is basically the old Dumaresq with some enhancements. The same procedure of plotting range and bearing against time to confirm the estimates in enemy course and speed was repeted here, with the exception that ranges could be obtained by radar RF.
It seems that the latest US BB had an electromecanic-computer to perform the same calculus, paper plot as a backup measure, more akin Bismarck´s.
Besides the British turrets had follow-the-pointer system for elevation and training, which brings further error as an operator had to match the pointers. The American turrets had RPC, so no human error was introduced in the accuracy.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue May 23, 2006 3:22 pm

Last night my son and I set up the Scenario Editor of Fighting Steel and programmed this engagement: South Dak vs. PoW, 1941, South Pacific, 12 noon, clear skies, smooth seas, etc. etc. The South Dak heading North at 27 knots and PoW heading West also at 27 knots. They sight each other at 30,000 yds. and begin firing at 27,000 yds. No hits scored until they approached at 22,000 yds. South Dak hits first, a couple of minutes later PoW achieved some hits at the South Dak. And that´s all. The closer they got was 19,000 yds., then they began a series of turns. After an hour and a half both exhausted their ammunition and head to parallel courses North north west.
The South Dak achieved to damage a little bit more the PoW but it´s like a draw to me. :?
Best regards.

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Post by Gary » Tue May 23, 2006 5:54 pm

Prince of Wales was slightly heavier than SoDak when fully laden, was some 65 feet longer and slightly wider.
Not a great deal of difference but bigger nonetheless.

Hi Karl

Intesting scenerio - thanks for running it through.
Hope you and your son enjoyed doing it :cool:
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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue May 23, 2006 6:34 pm

Hi Gary,

yeah, we enjoy it a lot! My son is trying to find an Allied (or German) Battleship + Cruiser combination that can knock out the Yamato so he can run any combination quite quickly. :wink:

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Post by Bgile » Tue May 23, 2006 6:36 pm

Karl Heidenreich wrote:Last night my son and I set up the Scenario Editor of Fighting Steel and programmed this engagement: South Dak vs. PoW, 1941, South Pacific, 12 noon, clear skies, smooth seas, etc. etc. The South Dak heading North at 27 knots and PoW heading West also at 27 knots. They sight each other at 30,000 yds. and begin firing at 27,000 yds. No hits scored until they approached at 22,000 yds. South Dak hits first, a couple of minutes later PoW achieved some hits at the South Dak. And that´s all. The closer they got was 19,000 yds., then they began a series of turns. After an hour and a half both exhausted their ammunition and head to parallel courses North north west.
The South Dak achieved to damage a little bit more the PoW but it´s like a draw to me. :?
Best regards.
It's surprising to me that two modern battleships could fire at each other for an hour and a half and neither was seriously hit. There is something wrong with that. Were the crew qualities and radar equal?

Were you using the original FS or the latest verstion from the FS project web site? Its up to 10.20 now.

http://forums.nws-online.net/forumdisplay.php?f=9

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Post by marcelo_malara » Tue May 23, 2006 8:01 pm

I agree with Bgile. If they exhausted ammo, it means they fired at least 900 rounds each. Take a 5% hit probability and you have each one receiving 45 shots. Surely one should have combat capabilities diminished by then, so the other could have closed range and finished the other.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue May 23, 2006 9:19 pm

Well, the FS program I have it´s three years old (not the net one) and, as I wrote before, in many ocassions it fails to do what´s logical or what´s expect it from it. As I stated before the Hood sometimes just blew and Bismarck jams it´s rudder quite easily. There appears to be somekind kind of default setting there.

Bgile:
It's surprising to me that two modern battleships could fire at each other for an hour and a half and neither was seriously hit. There is something wrong with that. Were the crew qualities and radar equal?
Yeah, you´re right: my son also told me that it was peculiar that those two ships weren´t too keen to fight between themselves. Also was my choice to maintain South Dak (I was using the USN BB) at least at 19,000 yards from PoW to use advantage of the 16" guns. But the crew, radar were set to be equivalents.

Marcelo:
If they exhausted ammo, it means they fired at least 900 rounds each. Take a 5% hit probability and you have each one receiving 45 shots. Surely one should have combat capabilities diminished by then, so the other could have closed range and finished the other.
None did hit the other with 45 shells. When the game finished both BBs qualify with "medium damage", so that means 10-15 direct hits, radar blown, one fire director knock out, one turret out of service, max. speed @ 22-24 knots and a lot of flames and smoke coming out from the connin tower and the fantail. And that´s all.
Maybe Marcelo is right: I failed to approach the PoW after having scored the best hits at half the game. I´m gonna check it tonight and tell you tomorrow. :cool:
Very best regards!

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Post by marcelo_malara » Tue May 23, 2006 9:39 pm

Karl:
Does the program show you exactly the damage caused? I mean, the drop in speed for example, is due to what?

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Post by Bgile » Tue May 23, 2006 9:57 pm

Karl,

That's a good sim and I don't fault your 19K yd range tactic. That range should produce results.

I strongly recommend the latest mod. All you have to do is load it on top of the base FS install and it works great. A lot of improvement has been made over all those versions.

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Post by Gary » Tue May 23, 2006 10:14 pm

Hi guys.

Maybe because I'm British, I tend to stick up for the often criticised KGV class (Prince of Wales especially).

If I am honest, SoDak was a damn good BB and Iowa was the king-pin of what a Battleship should be.

Sometimes I try and take away some of the credibilty of the North Carolina, SoDak and Iowa classes simply because they were never seriously tested in battle (by that I mean in a heated BB V BB engagement).

None of the 3 mentioned USN BB's were hit by anything larger than a 14 inch shell and none suffered the kind of beating that Bismarck recieved (SoDak at Guadalcanal doesnt count as apart from one 14 inch hit, the rest were 8 inch or smaller).

I think that most WW2 Admirals would, if given the choice, choose Iowa and then if they couldnt have Iowa they'd chose SoDak.
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Post by Bgile » Tue May 23, 2006 11:02 pm

The US Navy tried to protect their ships against a ship with similar armament. They knew that wasn't the case with the Iowa class, and the Montana class would have been a much better balanced ship. It would also have had better TDS because the internal belt was not a part of it. The machinery arrangement was much better for limiting torpedo damage as well. IMO was a far superior design. The Midway class carriers used the same machinery arrangement.

Ironically, the secondary battery wouldn't have been as good for AA defense as the 5"/38s on the Iowas because the 5"/54 mounts designed for them were cramped and had some of the same problems as the British 5.25" guns. They were not popular with the gunnery depts of the Midway class carriers, which is where they ended up after the Montanas were cancelled.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue May 23, 2006 11:29 pm

Marcelo:
Does the program show you exactly the damage caused? I mean, the drop in speed for example, is due to what?
More or less, Marcelo. You can open a window in which they show you all the ship´s systems: electric, machinery, steering, fire directors, radar, main guns, secondary guns, ammo, etc. etc. If something is damaged it´s shows and, if it´s under repair, it show the time left to have the system on line again. Then they have this main display filled with green squares: when you´re hit some of them turned red (the bigger the hit the more squares turn red). If the whole display turns red then you´re ship is Out Of Action. Then there is this line of light blue squares: if one turned dark blue then you have one compartment flooded. If all turned dark blue you are a submarine. And below this line there is a display were fires are show. It´s very basic. You can control what´s wrong with your vessel. There is an emergency repair unit that lasts forever repairing engines or steering or the radar while shells are raining over you.
The speed is the first thing all those tin cans began to lose when they are hit. It´s due to problems in the engine compartment, specially flooding.

Bgile:
Thanks for the tip. The problem is that the game is in my home computer and my net connection is at work. I have to install the conection to my house, some 30 miles afar... sometine late this year.
About the 19k yds range: yeah, in other scenarios it produces good results. When I put Bismarck against a KGV Class or Ramillies, Repulse or Hood it´s ideal. When the British close range then I´m in trouble. For the South Dakota and North Carolina it worked OK when fighting Nagato, Mutsu or other Japanese BCs. And when you´re fighting Yamato you´re dead if you don´t close fast.

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Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue May 23, 2006 11:44 pm

Gary:
Maybe because I'm British, I tend to stick up for the often criticised KGV class (Prince of Wales especially).

If I am honest, SoDak was a damn good BB and Iowa was the king-pin of what a Battleship should be.

Sometimes I try and take away some of the credibilty of the North Carolina, SoDak and Iowa classes simply because they were never seriously tested in battle (by that I mean in a heated BB V BB engagement).
Gary,
I believe that no nation, or navy for that matter, would use up it´s country´s resources and risk their youth in an ill design BB. That because maybe that country´s fate was decided by that particular BB (in theory) in some desperate operation.
I don´t think there are the so called "design mistakes" but they are "different design criteria". That and the available resources at hand. I don´t believe that, if possible, a country would not build a invulnerable ship. Germans, British, Americans, Italians, Japanese and French had their particular idea of how to approach to the problem of building a ship protected enough, capable of deliver a good payload against the enemy, return home floating and achieve victory.
Which was best? All had their positive characteristics (and a sound reasoning behind them, remember) and failures (no less reasoning there too). The ones that survived combat and the war are probably the best, but I don´t swallowed that because many of the sunk ones were on heavier action than those that don´t. In that case we will never know.
Best regards.

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