Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

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RF
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Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby RF » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:45 am

As a number of fairly recent topics here have involved teleportation of ships in space and time, I offer for consideration a typical Hitlerian brainstorm: the first H Classe battleship is ready for action in May 1941 and on Hitler's personal order the ship has been named Der Fuhrer !

Der Fuhrer sails with Prinz Eugen under the command of Admiral Wilhelm Marschall and meets Hood/POW in the Denmark Strait. I invite comments as to what happens next.

Will the RN sink the Fuhrer?
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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:57 am

... With Der Fuehrer carrying 8 x 406mm/L52 guns, she would destroy Hood in the approximately the same manner as Bismarck did historically,
then focus on Prince of Wales, delivering probably similar blows , with apparently grave consequences , but in the end not causing much damage to the British battleship.

In return, she would be hit by 3 x 356mm shots (it's unlikely she would receive more, even if she was larger then the Bismarck, as there are no other straddles reported to be suffered by Bismarck), 1 through the forecastle (causing flooding and a bow trim), 1 through the aft crane, causing destruction of the crane and splinters damaging the catapult, blocking possibility of a launch of the Arado floatplanes. Finaly, the 3rd hit (historically the 2nd) would be the most interesting - as it woudl expode not against the Whotan 45mm internal bulkhead of Bismarck, but against the 300mm KC n/A external armored belt of Der Fuehrer... causing negligible damage... and thus NOT producing loss of fuel , internal flooding, and loss of a turbine room.

Thus there would be some good chance for Der Fuehrer to continue the ocea raid, without going to Saint Nazaire/France.

That would open the possibility of Der Fuehrer to escape British pursuers , at least for a few days.

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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Mostlyharmless » Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:33 pm

If Der Fuhrer escapes from the RN in May 1941, we could imagine that he flees to the Southern Oceans, either immediately or after being driven from Brest by British bombing. Thus we can imagine that Germay’s most powerful battleship ends up joining the Japanese fleet.

Naturally, shortages of all sorts of equipment will limit subsequent operations but I can imagine that Der Fuhrer sails with the Centre Force towards Leyte Gulf in October 1944. As Der Fuhrer is almost exactly the same length as Musashi, we can imagine that Der Fuhrer receives exactly the same hits as Musashi (one attempt at a list is at https://www.ussflierproject.com/2015/04 ... inal-days/). Does Der Fuhrer survive? I think that it is possible because Der Fuhrer has a much greater protected length, will not go down by the bow to the same extent as Musashi and thus will maintain speed better. It is also possible that the armoured weather deck will prevent anti-aircraft gunners being injured by bombs exploding below the deck.

Of course many of you will ask how Der Fuhrer could have survived the catastosphic damage inflicted at close range by Washington in November 1942 http://www.navweaps.com/index_lundgren/ ... alysis.pdf as well as asking what Der Fuhrer’s guns would have done to South Dakota.

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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:24 pm

Alecsandros wrote: ".....the 3rd hit (historically the 2nd) would be the most interesting - as it woudl expode not against the Whotan 45mm internal bulkhead of Bismarck, but against the 300mm KC n/A external armored belt of Der Fuehrer....."

Hi Alec,
I must admit that I know almost nothing about the design of the H class battleships, however I have always understood that they would have been enlarged version of Bismarck (with the notable exception of propulsion system). The armor scheme being exactly the same (with a thinner belt of 300 mm instead of 320 mm), as well as the underwater protection system.

Why do you say that the third shell from PoW would have hit the belt of Der Fuhrer instead of the 45 mm bulkhead ? Was the belt of H class extending more deeply underwater ? :think:

Even with exactly the same damage as Bismarck, Der Fuhrer could have still had a sufficient range to reach a French port through a safer route, but I don't think the bow damage could be fixed at sea or "ignored" in order to continue the mission....

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:39 pm

RF wrote: "....Der Fuhrer sails with Prinz Eugen under the command of Admiral Wilhelm Marschall and meets Hood/POW in the Denmark Strait. I invite comments as to what happens next."

Hi RF,
with Marschall in command (instead of Lutjens), I'm not sure Der Fuhrer would not have pursued PoW after Hood sinking in a stern chase (and due to the PoW Y turret jamming , she could have possibly had good chances of finishing her).

However, getting other damages in return, disobeying orders and closing the Home Fleet, I guess Marschall would have possibly been removed from command for risking his ship.... :wink:

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:50 pm

Yes, the belt belt extended farther below the waterline on the H class than it did on the Bismarcks and the Scharnhorsts.

However, the historical hit was very deep. It was deep enough that it ripped up double bottom compartments. Hits that far down would likely still pass below the belt. Hits that deep would still probably cause much the same effect with a design featuring a lower belt extension such as in the Iowa or South Dakota classes. POW had a slightly deeper belt but still suffered below the belt hits during this battle.
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: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:56 pm

Dave Saxton wrote: "....the belt belt extended farther below the waterline on the H class than it did on the Bismarcks and the Scharnhorsts. "

Hi Dave,
thanks. Does this means that the belt would have extended below the slope or just that the slope and the deck were placed lower in the hull due to the less space required by the diesel engines?
In the last case, would a deeper belt be a weak point as water would have entered a larger space in case of (very likely) perforation of the belt ?

Bye, Alberto
Last edited by Alberto Virtuani on Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:09 pm

Hi Dave,
my thinking is thatt, in order to explode against the 45mm bulkhead, the 356mm shell first passed just beneath Bismarck's 170mm lower belt, and approx 20 deg angle, pierced the outher skin of st52, and then exploded somewhere near the bulkhead.

In the case of H39, there is a strong probability that the shell would strike the belt armor and be stopped in his trajectory completely.

@Alberto
unfortunately I don't know the structural details that you mentioned.

Best wishes,

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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:27 pm

Alberto Virtuani wrote:
Dave Saxton wrote: "....the belt belt extended farther below the waterline on the H class than it did on the Bismarcks and the Scharnhorsts. "

Hi Dave,
thanks. Does this means that the belt would have extended below the slope or just that the slope and the deck were placed lower in the hull due to the less space required by the diesel engines?
In the last case, would a deeper belt be a weak point as water would have entered a larger space in case of (very likely) perforation of the belt ?

Bye, Alberto


No, the belt just extended deeper down and was not tapered. The main armoured deck remained 1 meter above the water line.
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: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:36 pm

alecsandros wrote:Hi Dave,
my thinking is thatt, in order to explode against the 45mm bulkhead, the 356mm shell first passed just beneath Bismarck's 170mm lower belt, and approx 20 deg angle, pierced the outher skin of st52, and then exploded somewhere near the bulkhead.

In the case of H39, there is a strong probability that the shell would strike the belt armor and be stopped in his trajectory completely.

@Alberto
unfortunately I don't know the structural details that you mentioned.

Best wishes,


Your geometry does not seem to work for it exploding against the torpedo bulkhead, if it entered the hull just below the belt, if the damage was farther down as it was. Or are you assuming it was arrested by the bulkhead and then tumbled downward before it exploded?
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: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Mostlyharmless » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:24 am

There is a frequently quoted article “The Battle of the Denmark Strait” by José M. Rico http://www.kbismarck.com/denmark-strait-battle.html which states “The first shell hit Bismarck amidships below the waterline in section XIV, passed through the outer hull just below the main belt, and exploded against the 45-mm armoured torpedo bulkhead”. Unfortunately, I do not know the origin of the “just below”. This may originate from one of Bismarck’s survivors although there is a clear statement in “Battleship Bismarck: A Survivor's Story” by Burkard Baron Von Mullenheim-Rechberg that the hit had ripped up some of the oil tanks in the double bottom (page 151).

It may also simply come from a calculation based on the 0.025 delay of the RN fuse which would restrict the depth if the fuse functioned normally to just below Bismarck’s 2.2 metre deep belt (at full load). The hit on Emperor of India that convinced the RN of the danger of diving shells did actually deflect off the bottom of EoI’s belt, showing the normal behaviour of RN shells. The very deep hit on Prince of Wales occurred because the German fuse did not cause the shell to explode. However, weird things can occur. The 1924 hit on Tosa at a depth of 3.3 metres may have occurred because the fuse did not function on entry into the water but did activate when the shell hit Tosa’s side plating.

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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby alecsandros » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:25 am

@Dave
British 14" shell falls at 18.2 degrees and 476m/s at 18km. I don't know how it is affected by entry in water. I suppose it loses the windscreen, maybe also the cap, and it's fuze is activated by the sudden decelration caused by changing environments (from air to water density).

Not much. The key here, IMHO, is the way the body of the shell behaves once inside the water. Does it change it's trajectory much ? Does it tumble ? How much velocity it retains ? How fast does it lose remaining velocity ? Etc.

With that not resolved, I move further to fuze delay. As Mostlyharmless posted above, typical British contemporary fuze was 0.025s , a rather short fuze compared to contemporary practice.

Making a wild supposition (compounded suppositions in fact), and considering:

a) shell loses 50% of velocity immediately after entering water, and does not lose any more meaningfull velocity before explosion.
b) shell is not deflected in any way and retains 18.2 degrees declination
c) fuze functions and explosion occurs at exactly 0.025s after entering water plane

Then, the explosion would occur after only 5.95 meters inside the water.

Using this Bismarck amidships section as quick reference: http://www.kbismarck.com/proteccioni.html , and remembering that , amidships, the battleship was 36meters wide (for scale), we quicklly realize that, in this proposed scenario, even Bismarck's belt SHOULD be enough to stop the 6meters-long trajectory, BEFORE it reaches the 45mm bulkhead.

This probably means that the shell had a very lucky trajectory, that allowed it to pierce the outer skin, and explode immediately after that, so NOT in contact with the 45mm bulkhead, but 2-3 meters away from it, producing damage through shock of blast transmitted through water.

----

IF that is correct,
then in the case of H39, with the belt going ~ 1 extra meter below the waterline, the shell would require to travel ~ 18meters in case of actualy reaching the bulkhead, requiring a fuze of 0.075 s at the velocity proposed above.

It's more unlikely... not impossible... but just more unlikely...
----

IMHO , it is an open case and , consdiering the impredictibility of underwater trajectories, almost anything can happen.

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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:21 am

Dave saxton wrote; "No, the belt just extended deeper down and was not tapered. The main armoured deck remained 1 meter above the water line."

Hi Dave,
thanks again for the info. Therefore, if I understand correctly, compared to Bismarck, the H class would have had a "longer" slope in order to go from the 1 meter deeper belt bottom (not tapered) to the main deck, 1 meter above water, thus giving to the scheme belt+slope the same effectiveness of the Bismarck one (except for the slightly thinner maximum belt thickness).

Does anybody have an armor scheme for H class that can be posted here ?

Bye, Alberto
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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby RF » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:46 am

Alberto Virtuani wrote:with Marschall in command (instead of Lutjens), I'm not sure Der Fuhrer would not have pursued PoW after Hood sinking in a stern chase (and due to the PoW Y turret jamming , she could have possibly had good chances of finishing her).

However, getting other damages in return, disobeying orders and closing the Home Fleet, I guess Marschall would have possibly been removed from command for risking his ship.... :wink:
Bye, Alberto


The first sentence here is precisely the reason why I selected Marschall as Fleet Commander. The question essentially is how much better (or not) the H Classe could have withstood damage from POW shells.

In reality Marschall had already been fired by Raeder for insubordination, which was why Lutjens was Fleet Commander for Rheinubung. But Marschall IMO was sacked for the wrong reasons, he had more of the ''Nelson touch'' than the KM in general displayed.

In preparing this topic I had first thought of extending the fantasy further by having Helmuth von Ruckteschell as Fleet Commander as I think he certainly would have gone for POW and to hell with fleet orders, however his rank at the time was Commander in the Naval Reserve and was not likely to ever be promoted to Admiral.
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Re: Teleportation: H Classe in place of Bismarck

Postby Alberto Virtuani » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:41 am

Hi RF,
I suspected this was why you "appointed" Marschall instead of Lutjens.... :wink:

Lutjens was surely more reflexive than Helmuth von Ruckteschell, but even the latter, having precise orders in hand and the example of Marchall removal in front of him, could have decided not to pursue PoW, especially with an even more precious battleship like Der Fuhrer that, after the damages sustained so far, could still either continue her mission or at least have enough range to get to a safe port for repairs, instead of closing the Victorious and her torpedo bombers in a presumably long stern chase.

At the time Lutjens took the decision not to pursue PoW, he was not aware that Bismarck was badly damaged by PoW and he was hoping to still be able to continue his mission. It was a bad decision with hindsight, but the only logical one, at that time, IMHO.


Bye, Alberto
"It takes three years to build a ship; it takes three centuries to build a tradition" (Adm.A.B.Cunningham)


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