Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Difference?

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Yoro
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Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Difference?

Postby Yoro » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:46 am

Hello, folks!

I'm not really new here in the forum as I've been lurking here for quite a long time, and I have come to understand a lot about not just Bismarck, but other warships as well.

Anyway, I've been reading Nathan Okun's analysis about Bismarck, and by his statement - "Considering what happened to the BISMARCK in real life, it is entirely possible that even increasing all of the ship's armor by 50% would not have made a single ounce of difference to the final outcome of its last battle!"

As I've come to understand, some of Okun's statements should be taken with a grain of salt, but seeing as this is basically a "what if" thread, would it have made a difference in Bismarck's last navel battle? :think:

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Garyt » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:48 am

I'd say it would not make a huge difference in general.

However, the shell the Bismarck took in the Battle of Denmark straight may not have penetrated - so it would have went convoy hunting with Eugen instead of heading back for repairs.

As far as the final clash, Bismarck was really disabled by the rudder hit. With it's rudder jammed, it was following a very predictable course causing it to be easy to hit. Thicker armor would have made the opposing vessels have to get closer to penetrate it, but it would not have made a difference in the end result.

Now if the weight for extra armor perhaps went into somehow armoring the rudder, or better yet used the extra weight for armor and instead give the Bismarck some redundancies for steering it may have made a difference. Not that it would win the battle, but that it could have made it back to port safely.

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:10 am

Garyt wrote:I'd say it would not make a huge difference in general.

Now if the weight for extra armor perhaps went into somehow armoring the rudder, or better yet used the extra weight for armor and instead give the Bismarck some redundancies for steering it may have made a difference. Not that it would win the battle, but that it could have made it back to port safely.



Sorry this appears to be nonsens; You cannot provide armor to the rudder without detracting rudderfunction
Torpedohits on ships ends almost invariably affects every ship,
with the possible exception for ships wich had a auxillary rudder(s) in a remote distance from the main rudder(s). These auxillary rudders must also be able to overcome the effect of a fixed rudder position of the main rudder.

Bismarck had four independend systems for rudderlaying -two independend main ruddermachines -and also the capability to manually operate each rudder all in separated compartments. The detonation of the torpedo fixed the position of the rudders at 15 degrees, destroyed parts of the rudder machinery and flooded all rudder compartments. Whether conditions and fixed rudderposition didnt allow for the required major repparaturs even with diving equipment /only allowed for a limited steerability against the north western direction of wind and waves.

From USN handbook of damage control
CHAPTER XV
UNDERWATER EXPLOSIONS

15-24. Effects of underwater hit near ends: ships without torpedo-protection systems. A hit in the bow region may blow off the entire bow section, usually at a heavy transverse bulkhead. (This may be the effect of a secondary gasoline or magazine explosion).A hit near the stern, although less likely to blow off an entire section of the ship, probably will carry away one or all of the screws, and may destroy or render inoperative the rudder and steering gear.
Meine Herren, es kann ein siebenjähriger, es kann ein dreißigjähriger Krieg werden – und wehe dem, der zuerst die Lunte in das Pulverfaß schleudert!

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby alecsandros » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:16 am

@Thorsten
Still Veneto was hit in a similar fashion like the Bismarck, but her different rudder arrangement and 4-shaft propulsion helped her resume power and heading...

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:22 pm

Under water protection isn't really about armour. Increasing armour protection won't help under water protection and could actually be very counter productive to protection from underwater explosions.

Increasing the horizontal protection by 50% would extend the upper IZ from 30km to 35km (38,300 yards). But that is a moot point regarding the final battle. It was fought at 23km and less. Already the scarp triangle protection scheme provided belt protection down to point blank battle ranges, so there was nothing to be gained on that end by more armour.

Providing 50% more armour to the turrets and barbets might have made a difference, but perhaps it might not have. Even non penetrating hits on these structures might knock them out through plug ejections of the overly thick plates and other shock effects.

Nonetheless, it is not possible to gain a 50% increase in protection from a 50% increase in armour thickness, because increasingly thick plates have decreasingly lesser and lesser quality levels.
However, the shell the Bismarck took in the Battle of Denmark straight may not have penetrated


No, that shell by-passed the armour by going under the belt deep enough to also rip up double bottom compartments. Thicker armour would not have made any difference. Also a deeper belt would not have helped considering how deep it was in this case. Increasing the thickness of the armoured bulkhead by 50% may not have even prevented perforation by splinters from a British 14" burst, but if the bulkhead becomes too rigid, that would certainly be counter productive to the protection from underwater explosions.
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: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Garyt » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:07 pm

Also a deeper belt would not have helped considering how deep it was in this case.


Yeah, the Yamato's tried the deeper belt due to Japanese concerns about near and below waterline its. Seems to have made the TDS a bit more vulnerable, though looking specifically at how many torpedoes these behemouths took to sink them it seemed to work out OK.

THorsten Wahl wrote:

Sorry this appears to be nonsens; You cannot provide armor to the rudder without detracting rudderfunction


of course I did not mean to directly armor the rudder. As I stated, the thing to do would have been to put in a steering system more like the Iowa, to allow the ship to steer with one rudder disabled. My main point was about redundancies in the rudder.

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:15 am

Yamato had an auxiliary rudder, but in testing it wasn't able to turn the ship.

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Garyt » Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:50 am

Yamato had an auxiliary rudder, but in testing it wasn't able to turn the ship.


Funny how much luck plays a role. Between them the Yamato and Musahi were hit by 30 or so torpedoes - and not one to my knowledge took the rudder out.

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby RF » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:36 am

Increasing the armour weight by 50% will have other non-combat effects, such as on fuel consumption, cruising range and ship speed. Enough to alter the entire dynamics of the operation.
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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:43 am

Garyt wrote: of course I did not mean to directly armor the rudder. As I stated, the thing to do would have been to put in a steering system more like the Iowa, to allow the ship to steer with one rudder disabled. My main point was about redundancies in the rudder.

Sorry Garyt for beeing somwhat harsh in my previous post...
Iowa did not have had more redundancies - the 2 rudders were in the same distance
possibly the 4 shaft/srews arrangement may change things
but
What was the turning diameter of Iowa class usings screws only against the ruddereffect of the jammed rudder
How much is the course of Iowa influenced by wind and seastate especially wind 9 and waveheights of about 6-7 m

As far as I know answers to these questions wer not available for any capitalship - so in my opinion a statment that ship XYZ with similar damage and similar whether conditions perfoms better, is probably pure speculation without these facts.

If in Bismarcks case the wind came from easterly directions Bismarck possibly would have limped home additionally it would have reached air cover in the morning and the british capital ships would have run out of fuel
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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby alecsandros » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:11 am

Thorsten Wahl wrote:
As far as I know answers to these questions wer not available for any capitalship - so in my opinion a statment that ship XYZ with similar damage and similar whether conditions perfoms better, is probably pure speculation without these facts.

l

Vittorio Veneto...

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:34 am

VV appears as not comparable
wind and seastate
relative position to land(distance, position) and main direction of mevement
vv was accompanied had some assistance by lots of other RM ships

position of damage
Bismarck detonation on contact with ships hull beneath the ruddercompartmants
VV detonation on a screw
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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby alecsandros » Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:38 am

Thorsten Wahl wrote:VV appears as not comparable
wind and seastate
relative position to land(distance, position) and main direction of mevement
vv was accompanied had some assistance by lots of other RM ships

position of damage
Bismarck detonation on contact with ships hull beneath the ruddercompartmants
VV detonation on a screw

it was on a screw because it had 4 screws...
acccording to Bagnasco, main rudder was jamed in Vitorio Veneto by the explosion. secondary rudder was used successfully. The ship proceeded on own power at 19kts...

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Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Mostlyharmless » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:37 am

Garyt wrote:
Yamato had an auxiliary rudder, but in testing it wasn't able to turn the ship.


Funny how much luck plays a role. Between them the Yamato and Musahi were hit by 30 or so torpedoes - and not one to my knowledge took the rudder out.

During her final sortie, Yamato suffered a torpedo hit or hits aft which flooded the auxiliary rudder steering room. The auxiliary rudder was stuck hard to port so that the ship could no longer make turns to starboard.

Thoddy

Re: Increasing Bismarck's Armor By 50% Would Make a Differen

Postby Thoddy » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:38 pm

acccording to Bagnasco, main rudder was jamed in Vitorio Veneto by the explosion

wich position
did you have an transversal drawing of rudderequipment (rudders and machinery)


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