May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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RF
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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby RF » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:52 pm

A fully worked up Tirpitz would have the advantage over POW, as you have alluded, regardless of how well drilled POW was.

This thread was started on the premise of a combat in which both ships were unready, albeit for different reasons and combat deficiencies, based on the two ships battle readiness at the date given. The combination of deficiencies I think does make the odds more even and the result unpredictable - and hence a point for discussion.
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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby alecsandros » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:55 pm

I agree on the unpredictable point,
And , IMHO , Prince of Wales would have the first chance in a direct duel on May 24th 1941.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby paul.mercer » Fri Sep 09, 2016 10:14 am

alecsandros wrote:TIrpitz rate of fire was substantialy higher then Prince of WAles.

Thank you again for your reply, but why would the rate of fire from Tirpitz (or Bismarck) be substantially faster with fully worked up crew on PoW? I presume that each gun had an individual crew and loading mechanism which I again presume to be similar in all battleships and that they would firing salvos rather than to be all actually firing at the same time. Even if PoW is slightly slower, she is still sending out 10 shells against 8 which must increase the chances of hitting and doing damage even if they don't penetrate the armoured deck. I am not a great fan of the KGV's, but I do think that they are underrated in these columns.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby alecsandros » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:58 pm

Design requirements for Bismarck and KGV class were the same 30 seconds firing cycle.

Actualy achieved was 20 seconds for Bismarck (some soruces mention 18sec, others 25 seconds), and 40 seconds for KGV (some sources mention 45, some mentino 35 seconds)

To fire at max rate of fire, a very good AND STABLE F.C.S. needed to be obtained, which meant max rate of fire was rarely attained, if ever, in reality.

The Battle for Denmark Strait probably has instances of Prince of Wales firing up to 1,8 rpmpg for some guns for a small interval of time, and Bismarck was possibly filmed from PRinz Eugen while unleashing 2.75 rpmpg (20 shots of 380mm per 55 seconds), also for a brief time interval.

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Usualy in the simulation I've seen, Bismarck is credited with up to 24 x 380mm shots per minute, and KGV with 20 x 356mm shots per minute (for the entire main battery firing).
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If you also factor in shell weight and shell perforating power, you see how the 8x380mm battery was more devastating the the 10x356mm battery.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Harry Lime » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:10 pm

I seem to recall that the German capital ships used electrical power for shell and propellant hoists, rather than the traditional hydraulic hoists. The electrical hoists were designed to move faster thus delivering more ammunition for a given period of time. Sorry, I can't recall the source right this minute.

I too am not quite so convinced that the KGV was a bad design. However, in Roberts & Raven's British Battleships there is a chapter on the design process which arrived at the KGV design. At the start of the design the Director of Naval Ordinance expressed a preference for twin turrets. Thus the quad design must be seen as a compromise.
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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby alecsandros » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:19 pm

Another aspect which enabled Bismarck class to have a faster firing cycle then contemporary battleships was placing the shells and cartridges immediately below the MAD (cartridges on top, shells below). This reduced the space that the shell was required to be moved , as the turret was about 6 meters above the cartridge magazine (versus about 12 meters for British and American designs - which had their main cartridge and shell magazines placed nearly on the bottom of the ships). So , even if the shell hoists moved at the same speed (which they didn't), the German shells would be delivered in the turrets faster, as they would need to travel less.

The downside was that a theoretical perforating hit through the MAD could destroy the cartridge magazines, and the ship with it. The ships were very heavily armored above and around the MAD, but ... :?

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Steve Crandell » Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:43 am

alecsandros wrote:Another aspect which enabled Bismarck class to have a faster firing cycle then contemporary battleships was placing the shells and cartridges immediately below the MAD (cartridges on top, shells below). This reduced the space that the shell was required to be moved , as the turret was about 6 meters above the cartridge magazine (versus about 12 meters for British and American designs - which had their main cartridge and shell magazines placed nearly on the bottom of the ships). So , even if the shell hoists moved at the same speed (which they didn't), the German shells would be delivered in the turrets faster, as they would need to travel less.

The downside was that a theoretical perforating hit through the MAD could destroy the cartridge magazines, and the ship with it. The ships were very heavily armored above and around the MAD, but ... :?


Is this your opinion, or is it fact? I wouldn't think hoist speed would be relevant to rate of fire in this case. Shell and powder was moved up to the turret during elevation, fire, recoil, and return to loading angle. I don't believe the speed of the hoist was important as long as it was "fast enough".

There were other reasons the German system was faster, chiefly related to the German use of powder cases instead of bag powder, which reduced the time required to load. Of course, that meant there had to be powder case ejection ports, which could flood the turret in extremely bad weather. That was one of the problems experienced by the Germans when engaging Renown with the turrets trained aft.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby alecsandros » Sat Sep 10, 2016 9:57 am

Steve Crandell wrote:
alecsandros wrote:Another aspect which enabled Bismarck class to have a faster firing cycle then contemporary battleships was placing the shells and cartridges immediately below the MAD (cartridges on top, shells below). This reduced the space that the shell was required to be moved , as the turret was about 6 meters above the cartridge magazine (versus about 12 meters for British and American designs - which had their main cartridge and shell magazines placed nearly on the bottom of the ships). So , even if the shell hoists moved at the same speed (which they didn't), the German shells would be delivered in the turrets faster, as they would need to travel less.

The downside was that a theoretical perforating hit through the MAD could destroy the cartridge magazines, and the ship with it. The ships were very heavily armored above and around the MAD, but ... :?


Is this your opinion, or is it fact? I wouldn't think hoist speed would be relevant to rate of fire in this case. Shell and powder was moved up to the turret during elevation, fire, recoil, and return to loading angle. I don't believe the speed of the hoist was important as long as it was "fast enough".

There were other reasons the German system was faster, chiefly related to the German use of powder cases instead of bag powder, which reduced the time required to load. Of course, that meant there had to be powder case ejection ports, which could flood the turret in extremely bad weather. That was one of the problems experienced by the Germans when engaging Renown with the turrets trained aft.


Transport time of French 380mm shells from magazines to turret was 40-45 seconds, so I think it does matter.

The procecesses that you describe would take 6 to 10 seconds in total for German and American BBs during the rapid fire mode (remember US BB rate of elevation and de-elevation was 10*/second, German BBs 6*/second).

There is also time needed to take the shells and cartridges out from the lifts and place them into the gun.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Steve Crandell » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:16 pm

I have the loading cycle for the 16"/50.

Projectile is being hoisted while Powder bags are being rammed, breech closed, gun elevated, fired, and returned to battery. It is waiting to be loaded as the gun is brought to loading position.

Powder bags are being hoisted as gun is brought to loading position, breech opened and mushroom wiped, projectile cradle is spanned to breech, and projectile is rammed and rammer rectracted.

It's all designed to work so no process is waiting for another unless someone makes a mistake and delays the cycle.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Steve Crandell » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:26 pm

For the 16"/50, 11 seconds are allocated to raise a 16" projectile from magazine to turret.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby alecsandros » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:14 pm

How many shells can be transported at the same time ?

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Steve Crandell » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:09 am

alecsandros wrote:How many shells can be transported at the same time ?


Three per turret; one for each gun. Ammunition movement is completely independent for each gun. In fact, the turret gun crews can't see each other because each gun breech is in a separate compartment.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby alecsandros » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:28 am

That's very good.
Are there info on how many shells could be supplied in total per 60 seconds ?

From AVKS-700 we have total number of 380mm shells delivered to the turrets (by the hoists) of 23 to 25 rounds per minute.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Steve Crandell » Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:39 pm

alecsandros wrote:That's very good.
Are there info on how many shells could be supplied in total per 60 seconds ?

From AVKS-700 we have total number of 380mm shells delivered to the turrets (by the hoists) of 23 to 25 rounds per minute.


I don't know how many shells can be delivered to the turret per minute. The cycle is designed for a 30 second firing cycle, but that has some leeway built in so it could be faster at times with a well drilled crew.

I think the big difference in firing speed compared to Bismarck is the German use of brass powder cans. On Iowa, first the shell is rammed and the rammer retracted. Then the powder man opens one powder shuttle door and 3 powder bags roll onto the loading tray. Then he has to move two of them one way and one the other way to make room for the next 3 bags. Then he opens the other shuttle door and 3 more bags roll onto the loading tray and only then can they be rammed. I think this is significantly slower than the process on the German ship, which may only involve one ram of powder and shell together. I'm not sure of that, but it seems logical to me. I know that's the way the US 5"/38 works and I believe also the 6"/47.

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Re: May 24 1941 - Tirpitz v Prince of Wales

Postby Thorsten Wahl » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:11 pm

The german loading cycle requires two separate ramming processes also.
1 projectile
2 fore and main charge

ist a matter of required length behind the breech
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