Hear me ROAR Lion class vs Bismark class

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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Hear me ROAR Lion class vs Bismark class

Post by tameraire01 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 9:20 pm

With both Lion and Tameraire being laid down before the start of hostilities with Germany. The Admiralty decide it would be easier and cheaper to build A lion class instead of building the proposed Vanguard. With Tameraire slightly a head in construction it is chosen to be built. Lion being chosen to built as a carrier instead of being scrapped and to free up the slip way.

In 1941 when Bismark and the heavy cruiser Prinz eugan attempt to break out the RN send HMS Tameraire and POW to stop them.

Are the two super battleships evenly matched or would they need outside help to finish the other off?
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Re: Hear me ROAR Lion class vs Bismark class

Post by Garyt » Thu Feb 26, 2015 12:43 am

From what I know there were a few different designs for the proposed "Lion" class.

But I think the penetration on the 16" guns were on par with the Bismarck's 15" guns.

It had 9 guns vs 8 for the Bismarck, and 6 vs 4 in a forward only confrontation.

Armor was similar, the 16" shell was a bit heavier with a bit more of a bursting charge.

Seems like fire control on German Capital ships was a hair better.

The Bismarck was a bit faster. I think a moderate advantage in speed could help define the terms such as the "when" of engagement, but made little difference once both were engaged.

I'd put the two about even, but IMO the Bismarck would avoid engagement if possible, as it's goal was convoy raiding and to be an active deterrent to the opposing navy.

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Re: Hear me ROAR Lion class vs Bismark class

Post by alecsandros » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:28 pm

... My understanding is that HMS Lion was the G3 that never was. In all practical aspects concerning battleship-to-battleship combat, HMS Lion would thus have been a larger, faster and more heavily armed and armored Rodney (48000tons vs 40000 tons, 28kts vs 23kts, 9x406mm Mark II cannons vs 9x406mm Mark I cannons, 380mm belt vs 350mm belt).

The Lion would be comparable to South Dakota, but it would be somewhat faster, and would have a stronger vertical belt, at the cost of thinner turret and con tower armor.

As far as I understand things, Bismarck or Tirptiz would have the first chance in either confrontation, presuming normal tactical situation (no surprise element or crossing the T, maximum visibility, etc). This is because the German battlesips were expected to operate alone and take extreme damage , while the Allied battleships were designed with a larger squadron in mind. Hence 55% vs 70% waterline protected length, double or even triple armor protection systems, more extensive redundancy and electrical reserve power, pumping capacity and... crew members (in May 1941 Bismarck had 2200 men on board, vs 1450 on HMS Prince of Wales.)

the German battleships lacked in broadside effect, lacked also in shell mass and damage delivered to the target (the German 15" AP round carried less explosive than the British 14" AP round... ). They tried to compensate this via accuracy and rate of fire.


With the Lion and Bismarck having about the same dimensions, one can observe what would happen in a 1vs1 battle.
Bismarck's artillery had the same range as HMS Lion, but presumably better accuracy at initial battle range of - 22-25km.
Descent and thus danger space would be in the advantage of Bismarck - 24* vs 29* descent at 25km.

According to their navies doctrines, Bismarck would probably be the first to open fire, with Lion returning fire immediately.

Bismarck's artillery would have a slight advantage in spottings/minute, as the 380mm/L52 gun could land a shell at 25km in 43 seconds, while the 406mm/L45 gun would do the same thing in 50 seconds. This implies a faster target aquisition (or confirmation) for the German artillery, and probably the first hits.

Following the initial stage of target aquisition, if battle was engaged by both, Lion would probably be hit more early. Bismarck would be hit also, not long after that. Bismarck would need fewer rounds on target to silence Lion (3 turrets and 2 main fire control positions vs 4 turrets and 3 main fire control positions). This would be done in about 10 minutes.
Still, with Lion probably in flames and firing only sporadicaly, Bismarck would also be already badly damaged and probably slowed down to 20kts or even less. Perhaps 1 or maximum 2 main turrets operational, and all onboard sensors taken out by shock damage or direct hits. Final phase of the battle would be at around 15-16km. Several more hits would be scored by Bismarck, and Lion would be low in the water and shrouded in smoke.

P.S. Nonetheless, in a "real" encounter, unforeseable events such as an early devastating hit or hits, can change things rapidly for either side.

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