Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
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Ersatz Yorck
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Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:03 pm

Except for cases where a ship has suffered a major explosion, I cannot think of any cases where a dreadnought (Battleship or Battlecruiser) has been sunk by gunfire alone. There is the possible case of the Lützow, but there is apparently many who think she was hit by a torpedo. But apart from that?

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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby lwd » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:30 pm

Ersatz Yorck wrote:Except for cases where a ship has suffered a major explosion, I cannot think of any cases where a dreadnought (Battleship or Battlecruiser) has been sunk by gunfire alone. There is the possible case of the Lützow, but there is apparently many who think she was hit by a torpedo. But apart from that?

Kirishima

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Ersatz Yorck
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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:57 pm

lwd wrote:Kirishima


Good! Thanks!

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RF
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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby RF » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:26 pm

The classification of major explosion does need some qualification, I presume here that we are talking about a sinking not directly resulting from a major explosion or a single explosion - or ideed where a sinking would have happened anyway but where a major explosion ''speeded things up''. This may sound an academic point - but what of Hood?

On the face of it Hood is disqualified from the thread because of the magazine explosion. But if that explosion hadn't happened - say that one shell was a dud - is it not arguable that Hood could be included here on the basis of damage already incurred and damage likely to be incurred as the action further developed?
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Ken Thompson
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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby Ken Thompson » Thu Nov 03, 2011 4:40 pm

Its not obvious as it was an internal explosion that destroyed it. There were a lot of those such as the HMS Vanguard and HMS Bulwark in WW 1, both sunk by internal explosions while at anchor. Maybe we should qualify it as sinking by solely punching holes it it.

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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby lwd » Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:46 pm

Lutzow also might be worth considering. She was sinking when scuttled. Wiki (for what it's worth) states at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_L%C3%B ... w_scuttled
At midnight, there was still hope that the severely wounded Lützow could make it back to harbor.[38] The ship was capable of 7 knots up until around 00:45 when she began taking on more water.[39] By 01:00, there was too much water in the hull for the pumps to handle. Water began to enter the forward generator compartments, which forced the crew to work by candlelight. Lützow was so low in the water by 01:30 that water began to flood the forward boiler room.[38] By that point, almost all of the compartments in the forward part of the ship, up to the conning tower and below the main armored deck, were thoroughly flooded. Water had also entered the ship through shell holes in the forecastle above the armored deck; the majority of the upper portion of the ship forward of the forward-most barbette was flooded as well. The battlecruiser's crew attempted to patch the shell holes three times, but as the flooding worsened and the draft increased, water increasingly washed over the deck and inhibited progress on the repair work.[40]

The crew attempted to reverse direction and steam backwards, but this had to be abandoned when the bow became so submerged that the propellers were pulled partially out of the water; forward draft had increased to over 17 meters.[38][Note 8] By 2:20, an estimated 8,000 tons of water was in the ship, and she was in serious danger of capsizing, so KzS Harder gave the order to abandon ship. The torpedo boats G37, G38, G40, and V45 came alongside the stricken battlecruiser to evacuate the ship's crew. By 02:45 Lützow was submerged up to her bridge. G38 fired two torpedoes into the ship, and two minutes later she disappeared below the waves.

Note the: "By 02:45 Lützow was submerged up to her bridge."

delcyros
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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby delcyros » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:07 pm

As typical when relying on Wiki sources, quoting what some authors think may happaned or not, this is wrong.

First of all, SMS LÜTZOW most likely received a tropedohit earlier, hitting the foreship. This has been claimed by HMS FALMOUTH 18.25 discharging torpedoes from a distance of only 5500 yard and has been verified by survivors from LÜTZOW in german sources. Campbell disregards this hit, but he fails to give a reasoning for this revision, and in light of aviable primary sources from both sides, it´s very unlikely that it didn´t happen.

Second of all, LÜTZOW was scuttled with help of two further torpedoes, one passing under the stern, the nex hitting amidships.

Thirdly,

By 02:45 Lützow was submerged up to her bridge.


Not the birdge. This is an exaggeration. In german sources about nearly the top of B-barbette is mentioned in this context, not the bridge, that´s what other subsequent authours made out of it. Anyway, this is not surprising, given the fact that Captn. Harder already ordered the crew to abandon the ship and hence, end the state of combat watertightness ("Gefechtsverschlußzustand" in german sources) of the internal spaces, thus water could spread at will unhindered by watertight doors and manholes anytime after 02.20 (=01.20 german time).

At 02.30, f.e. (UK time = 01.30 german time), when the last DC controll reading has been entered in the log, and after the combat tighteness was already lifted for ten minutes, the draught forward was +8.5m with an estimated 8,500t (metr.) water in the ship. At this point the forecastle was just slipping under the water with both turrets clear of the waterline. Wateringress then spread rapidly across the ship in the 15 minutes to 02.45.

After Jutland, the case of SMS LÜTZOW was discussed in the Marineamt because the complete damage report logs have been safed by the crew. It was established that the ship had enough buoyancy and stability for approximately two days, providing the wateringress could be stabilized but it couldn´t steer with help of the screws and would require to be towed by other ships sternwise.
The prime reaon for the loss was claimed to be wrong handling of the ship, that is an unwisely high speed which strained the fore transverse bulkheads and triggered them to fail at about midnight in an ill fared attempt to flee the area of fighting.

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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby BobDonnald » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:33 am

The French battleship at Mers-el-Kebir whose name eludes me is another. Unless beaching does not count as sunk.

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Re: Dreadnoughts sunk by gunfire alone?

Postby RF » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:34 am

BobDonnald wrote:The French battleship at Mers-el-Kebir whose name eludes me is another. Unless beaching does not count as sunk.


Bretagne ??
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