Battle of the River Plate - Prinz Eugen instead of AGS

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RF
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Battle of the River Plate - Prinz Eugen instead of AGS

Postby RF » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:48 am

Leaving aside the fact that Prinz Eugen was not in service in December 1939, if we assume she was and took the place of the Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of the River Plate, then how would that battle have developed? I am assuming the start of the battle as being per the actual, with the Eugen targeting the Exeter.

Any thought anybody?
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Re: Battle of the River Plate - Prinz Eugen instead of AGS

Postby alecsandros » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:58 am

RF wrote:Leaving aside the fact that Prinz Eugen was not in service in December 1939, if we assume she was and took the place of the Admiral Graf Spee at the Battle of the River Plate, then how would that battle have developed? I am assuming the start of the battle as being per the actual, with the Eugen targeting the Exeter.

Any thought anybody?

Well, my guess is Prinz Eugen would be sunk... Her guns had no way near the punching power of AGS, and smaller range thus the initial devastatiing hits on Exeter were unlikely to happen, and if they did, they wouldn't have caused nearly the same damage.

Thus Exeter would last longer, and probably hit Prinz Eugen several times before being disabled. Ajax and Achilles would have a larger target to fire at (Prinz Eugen was 25m longer than AGS), and would probably hit her more often.

IN terms of protection, Prinz Eugen carried thiner top-side armor than Graf Spee (105mm turret vs 170mm, 100mm con tower vs 150mm), and would suffer degradation of her fire faster and worse than Graf Spee historically did.

==
But the question is - would PRinz Eugen accept the engagement, or try to flee ?

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Re: Battle of the River Plate - Prinz Eugen instead of AGS

Postby Byron Angel » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:10 am

Assuming that PE is at sea under the same type of raider orders as was GS, she must flee from such a superior force of three opposing cruisers and determine if any of the British cruisers are slow. If she cannot stretch out the British force that way, she keeps her distance until nightfall. When visual sighting distance falls, she finds out whose search radar is better. That would be my plan at any rate.

B

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Re: Battle of the River Plate - Prinz Eugen instead of AGS

Postby RF » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:57 am

Byron Angel wrote:Assuming that PE is at sea under the same type of raider orders as was GS, she must flee from such a superior force of three opposing cruisers and determine if any of the British cruisers are slow. If she cannot stretch out the British force that way, she keeps her distance until nightfall. When visual sighting distance falls, she finds out whose search radar is better. That would be my plan at any rate.
B


I was assuming that the Germans would have commenced the action having misidentified, as they did on AGS, an Allied force of one light cruiser and two destroyers screening a convoy. Only on closing the range did the true opposition and situation become apparent.
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Re: Battle of the River Plate - Prinz Eugen instead of AGS

Postby paulcadogan » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:24 pm

Could be that the British attack strategy might have been different with the three cruisers staying together in line ahead or quarter line formation and engaging Prinz Eugen more aggressively with the knowledge that their combined broadside weight of fire was far superior to that of the Prinz - 6 X 8-inch, 16 X 6-inch, 8 X 4-inch (Exeter and Achilles, 2 single mounts per side, Ajax 2 twin mounts per side) vs. 8 X 8-inch and 6 X 4.1-inch (3 twin mounts per side).

Their main problem would be fall of shot confusion unless they carefully fired in pre-arranged time sectors and had better trained aerial spotters!

There's no doubt that the Prinz's shells could themselves do serious damage (c.f. Hipper vs. Berwick) and her gunnery accuracy rivaled that of her sister. She would therefore give a good account of herself IMHO, but it would be a running fight as she would not stick around once her attackers were identified as 3 cruisers (c.f. Hipper vs. Sheffield & Jamaica).
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