SMS Moltke (1910)

From the birth of the Dreadnought to the period immediately after the end of World War I.
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Kyler
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SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Kyler » Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:43 pm

SMS Moltke launched in 1910 is of course name for General Field Marshall Helmuth Von Moltke. She served in nearly every large engagement during World War 1 including raids against the British Isles, the Battle of Heligoland Bight, the Battle of Dogger Bank, and the Battle of Jutland. During the Battle of Dogger Bank, Moltke received little or no damage because of confusion in the Beatty's ships, leading to him not being targeted by any of the BC’s during most of the battle. At Jutland, Moltke was hit by a 15in shell from the 5th BS and 4 hits from the 1st BCS. Most of the damage she received throughout the war came from torpedoes during other operations. Though During the Battle of Jutland, Moltke is accredited is partially disabling HMS Tiger by scoring 13 hits on the ship during the initial phase of the battle. These strikes led to the HMS Tiger after turrets being disabled. At the end of the war Moltke was sent to Scapa Flow with the rest of the fleet and eventually scuttled by her crew. He was raise in 1927 and scrapped.

SPECIFICATIONS
Project Name: Heavy Cruiser G (Moltke)
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid Down: Moltke - January 1, 1909
Launched: Moltke - April 7, 1910
Commissioned: Moltke - August 30, 1911
Removed from Service: Moltke - June 21, 1919 (Scuttled at Scapa Flow - sank at 1310 hrs)
Scrapped: Moltke - June 1927 to 1929
Displacement: 22,979 tonnes (designed) / 25,400 tonnes (maximum)
Dimensions (meters): 186.6 (overall) x 29.4 x 9.19
Dimensions (feet): 615.78 (overall) x 97.0 x 30.33
# of Shafts: 4
# of Propeller Blades: 3 (3.74m diameter)
# of Rudders: 2 (tandem - one ahead of the other)
Max Speed/Range: 25.5 kts / 4,120 nm at 14 kts
Main Battery: Ten 280mm (11")/50 caliber - 5 twin turrets
Secondary Battery: Twelve 150mm (5.9")/45 caliber - 12 casement mounts (Goeben only had 10 after 1915)
Anti-Torpedo Boat / Anti-Aircraft Battery: Twelve 88mm (3.5")/45 caliber - single mounts
Torpedo Tubes: Four 50cm tubes (all underwater - one bow, one stern [portside], one mounted on each side just forward of "Anton" turret)
Complement: 1,050 (as designed) / 1,350 (wartime)

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Sources,
http://german-navy.tripod.com/sms_bc.htm,
http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/we ... oltke.html,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Moltke_(1910)
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by RF » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:55 am

I believe that the Germans did plan to base either the Moltke or the Vonn der Tann at Tsingtao, had WW1 not started when it did.
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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Kyler » Mon Sep 28, 2009 4:54 pm

Yes they did, but after the Goeben incident they knew it would be stupid to send a BC to the Pacific because it stood little chance of returning
"It was a perfect attack, Right Height, Right Range, Right cloud cover, Right speed,
Wrong f@%king ship!" Commander Stewart-Moore (HMS Ark Royal)

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Gary » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:40 am

Does anyone know what the feeling was about ships like Moltke with their crews?

Were they popular ships or were they seen as "plastic dreadnoughts"?
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by RF » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:44 am

What is a ''plastic dreadnought?''
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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:51 am

Revell and Trumpeter 1:350 ones... Just kidding!
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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by RF » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:46 am

Yes, but it is a serious point - the dreadnought was supposed to be the ultimate armoured fighting ship. The battlecruiser, for example was a later concept developed from dreadnoughts, but the idea of a ''plastic'' armoured ship is surely a contradiction of terms.....
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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Gary » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:54 pm

Hi RF.

What I meant was that was Von Der Tann a loved ship by her men or did they see her as a weak alternative to a Dreadnought?
Did they see her as a "Pretender"

I'm just curious to know how Battlecruisers were recieved by the common sailors on both sides of the North Sea.

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by RF » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:14 pm

I was wondering if battlecruisers would be coming into this. Are they true dreadnoughts though? Or souped up super cruisers with battleship sized guns? And of course this sort of discussion has been had already of other threads.

To me the battlecruiser concept is as a destroyer of enemy cruisers, not really intended to pick fights with true dreadnoughts.
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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Bgile » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:22 pm

To me, a dreadnought is a ship with one caliber of main armament. I would consider battlecruisers to be true dreadnoughts. Of course, I also feel comfortable with the idea that a battlecruiser is a ship with battleship calibre guns which gives up adequate protection against her own guns so the extra displacement can be devoted to high speed. I would consider the Iowa class to be battlecruisers, but by that time the designation was meaningless.

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by hammy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:25 pm

In German usage their battlecruisers were categorised as Grosse Kreuzer , which can have no other interpretation than that they were viewed by the German Admiralty as a continuous line of progressive development of the "heavy" cruiser type , getting bigger and with heavier armament in successive designs as their British putative opponents likewise increased in power .
Their role in full battle situations was also clear ; - to scout forward of the battleship line , and to try to prevent enemy British battlecruisers from scouting the German battle line .
There does not appear to have been any thinking on the German side that they had any role to play in lying in the line of battle themselves , and trading blows with battleship opponents , nor can we see by the final German WW1 battlecruiser designs that merging of the battleship's strength and protection with the battlecruiser's speed which the Royal Navy had realised was the way forward for the capital ship , ie Churchills " fastest , strongest ship " of which Hood can be regarded as the ( flawed and ill-fated ) prototype , and ships like Bismark , Iowa and Vanguard as fully worked up types .

The German battlecruisers saw more action than their battleships , especially earlier on , and so there was some sense of belonging to an elite force for those who served in them .
I suspect that the mauling the force received at Jutland/Skaggerak and the casualty lists may well have given the younger ratings pause for thought though , and certainly by 1918 the Captain of Von-Der-Tann must have been hoping to avoid encounters with opponents like Repulse or Renown !

The biggest mistake at the start of the war was not getting Goeben ( and Breslau ) home before hostilities commenced , from their Mediterranean "jolly" . Re-run Dogger bank and the early stages of Jutland with Goeben in the frame as well as the others and things look even worse for the British .
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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:26 pm

Bgile:
To me, a dreadnought is a ship with one caliber of main armament. I would consider battlecruisers to be true dreadnoughts.
Do agree with Steve´s assesment. Both of them: battleships and battlecruisers were dreadnoughts. One was the "original" dreadnought with complete armor and the other was a "light fast dreadnought" (at least in pre WWI terms). Everything after HMS Dreadnought and following it´s design was a dreadnought.

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by tommy303 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:21 pm

In German usage their battlecruisers were categorised as Grosse Kreuzer , which can have no other interpretation than that they were viewed by the German Admiralty as a continuous line of progressive development of the "heavy" cruiser type , getting bigger and with heavier armament in successive designs as their British putative opponents likewise increased in power .
Tirpitz used the term Grosse Kreuzer to get around the clause in the naval laws that required a ship's replacement being of the same type. Hence battle cruisers were known as Grosse Kreuzer, the same as the big pre dreadnought armoured cruisers. This was nothing more than a clever ruse to fool the Reichstag who might object if Tirpitz tried to introduce a new class of warship as Fisher had done.

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by Gary » Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:01 pm

and certainly by 1918 the Captain of Von-Der-Tann must have been hoping to avoid encounters with opponents like Repulse or Renown !

Von Der Tann did get into a punch up with HMS Barham at Jutland but in 1916 Barham of course wasnt packing the improved Greenboy shells.

However, Renown and Repulse as built werent wonderfully armoured so the German 11 inch may still have some hope of success.
I guess it'll come down to how well the British can shoot on the day.
If they can land those 15 inch shells properly on target.........
God created the world in 6 days.........and on the 7th day he built the Scharnhorst

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Re: SMS Moltke (1910)

Post by hammy » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:28 pm

In German usage their battlecruisers were categorised as Grosse Kreuzer , which can have no other interpretation than that they were viewed by the German Admiralty as a continuous line of progressive development of the "heavy" cruiser type , getting bigger and with heavier armament in successive designs as their British putative opponents likewise increased in power .

Tirpitz used the term Grosse Kreuzer to get around the clause in the naval laws that required a ship's replacement being of the same type. Hence battle cruisers were known as Grosse Kreuzer, the same as the big pre dreadnought armoured cruisers. This was nothing more than a clever ruse to fool the Reichstag who might object if Tirpitz tried to introduce a new class of warship as Fisher had done.
I'm not sure they WERE introducing a new class of warship , though .
Blucher was clearly an expansion/progression/revision from the Scharnhorst , with the midships single 8.2inch guns replaced by twin turrets , better armour , four funnels ducted into two , etc .
Von der Tann is very like Blucher to look at , simply revised to carry four 45cal twin 11inch instead , in the "Invincible" class layout , and up-armoured again .
Moltke+Goeben run the foredeck right aft and increase the length to fit a superfiring turret in X position and up-gun to 50cal .
Seydlitz raises the foredeck , and A turret , again .
It is only with Lutzow and her sisters/successor designs that a step change takes place , and a definite new type emerges .

I think you are basically seeing the German side playing "catch-up" between Scharnhorst and Lutzow , rather than taking the design initiative , as they did with the light cruiser type .

Tirpitz MAY have been playing the "ship-type-name-game" with the Reichstag to get the money , -- just as we did here with the "through-deck-cruisers" that were the Invicible class Light C Vs of the late 1970s , ( or for that matter the new type 45 "destroyers" , Daring class , at 8500 odd tons apiece , bigger than the WW2 heavy cruisers Exeter+York ) ,
but I dont see why he would really have to , the Reichstag of 1910 or so being far from a British parliament or U S Congress/Senate in terms of full power in controlling/preventing expenditure .
" Relax ! No-one else is going to be fool enough to be sailing about in this fog ."

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