Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

General naval discussions that don't fit within any specific time period or cover several issues.
Paul L
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby Paul L » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:09 pm

VoidSamukai wrote:Make that D class. The Duetsch class had one problem that might hiner their performance. The speed. 28 knots means that they could be caught up by fast BBs and BCs. The D class with better speed would solve this problem. Then there is the O Class BCs which were, in my theory, actualy designed by the British due to such low armour.


Actual top speed was 26knots deep and 28 knots standard with Scheer reaching 28.3knots in standard and AGS reaching 28.5 knots. At any given time the motors could be run to 105% of capacity increasing speed by ~ 1/2 knot how ever that caused engine problems.

According to some sources the Deutschland class hull was capable of 30knots and speed trials did achieve 29.5 knots on the AGS, all be it with little fuel and probably minimum ammo/provisions/water and crew. These amount to about 1000 tons for the water provisions and ammo plus another 2000 tons for the fuel. So if you could find a way of reducing the displacement by a few thousand tons you could increase top speed.

Further research revealed a plan to "correct" the awkward hull forum that incorporated the torpedo bulge. It was expected that this could raise the top speed by a knot , while installing a transom stern should further increase speed by another knot.

Can vessels- after they are built- have a cruiser stern replaced with a transom stern?
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paul.mercer
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby paul.mercer » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:07 am

I suppose they could alter a ship whatever way they wanted, after all they did replace the bows of the twins. Also, did not a couple of German cruisers have problems with their sterns breaking away so presumably they were replaced?

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RF
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby RF » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:48 am

VoidSamukai wrote:This topic has been discussed on many naval forums I've seen, or at least mentioned, so I wanted to get your opinions on the matter.

So, considering all the ships and the battles they participate, do you guys think that the Battlecruisers in general, from all nations, were flawed, either in concept or design?


First of all it is necessary to define the role and purpose of a battlecruiser.

Secondly a specification of ship is required.

These two matters throw up a multitude of answers and situations such that the original proposition has little meaning.

Without going into the specifics of these two questions the consideration I would have is whether battlecruisers are any more flawed than any other type of warship. Are torpedo boats flawed - they can be outgunned by destroyers which also carry torpedoes. Are destroyers flawed - they can be outgunned by light cruisers which also carry torpedoes. Are light cruisers flawed - they can be outgunned by heavy cruisers which also carry torpedoes. And so on right up to battleship level and battleships have been sunk by all types of naval weapons including torpedo boats.

In conclusion my answer to the straight question posed has to be no - because there is no specific case for being able to say yes.
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paul.mercer
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby paul.mercer » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:35 pm

RF wrote:
VoidSamukai wrote:This topic has been discussed on many naval forums I've seen, or at least mentioned, so I wanted to get your opinions on the matter.

So, considering all the ships and the battles they participate, do you guys think that the Battlecruisers in general, from all nations, were flawed, either in concept or design?


First of all it is necessary to define the role and purpose of a battlecruiser.

Secondly a specification of ship is required.

These two matters throw up a multitude of answers and situations such that the original proposition has little meaning.

Without going into the specifics of these two questions the consideration I would have is whether battlecruisers are any more flawed than any other type of warship. Are torpedo boats flawed - they can be outgunned by destroyers which also carry torpedoes. Are destroyers flawed - they can be outgunned by light cruisers which also carry torpedoes. Are light cruisers flawed - they can be outgunned by heavy cruisers which also carry torpedoes. And so on right up to battleship level and battleships have been sunk by all types of naval weapons including torpedo boats.

In conclusion my answer to the straight question posed has to be no - because there is no specific case for being able to say yes.

Gentlemen,
Perhaps we have been a little hard on the battlecruiser, I think the answer is that they were not flawed as designed and to a certain extent they did the job that they were designed for, i.e.the Falklands battle, but their limitations were shown up at Jutland.
My conclusions are that after Jutland they outlived their usefulness and with the advent of the fast heavily armed and armoured battleship they were rendered almost obsolete, except perhaps for 'showing the flag' around the world between the wars. It is interesting to note that after the Hood disaster Churchill must have realised their shortcomings and fearing another disaster specifically forbade Repulse (or was it Renown?) to engage Bismarck unless she was already engaged by other heavy ships.
As I said in a previous post, if the Kreigsmarine had built more ocean-going large cruisers or Admiral Sheer class ships then the BC would have come into her own chasing down and destroying them, but it was not to be and while they remained Queens of the Fleet in the eye of the British public, their day was done and unfortunately it took the Hood disaster to bring that point home.

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VoidSamukai
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby VoidSamukai » Sun May 01, 2016 11:19 am

IMO Jutland did not show the flaws of battlecruisers in general. It showed the flaws of 'british' battlecruisers in terms of how they were used. Coup with dangerous handling f explosives, and you've got trouble. German BCs achieved successes as they were designed with this type of mission in mind, thus only Lutzow was sunk and that was because she was scuttled.

It was really the advantage of ships like the Nagato that had armour and speed that the battlecruiser finally met the end of its prime. However, in WW2, BCs still proved useful to navies. Germany was able to sink many merchant ships with the Desutchland and Scharnhorst classes and Japan's KOngo class served as valuable cruiser flagships and carrier escorts. And if built in time, the Alaska class would've been quite a problem for Japanese cruisers. But indeed, when ships like Iowa and Vanguard came, the line between battleships and battlecruiser's in terms of speed became nothing but a blur.

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RF
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby RF » Tue May 03, 2016 8:44 am

paul.mercer wrote:. It is interesting to note that after the Hood disaster Churchill must have realised their shortcomings and fearing another disaster specifically forbade Repulse (or was it Renown?) to engage Bismarck unless she was already engaged by other heavy ships.


If the DS battle had been fought the way Holland had originally intended and Hood did not blow up but was part of a victory over Lutjens I suspect that the reputation of Hood and battlecruisers in general would have been enhanced....
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paul.mercer
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby paul.mercer » Thu May 05, 2016 5:01 pm

RF wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:. It is interesting to note that after the Hood disaster Churchill must have realised their shortcomings and fearing another disaster specifically forbade Repulse (or was it Renown?) to engage Bismarck unless she was already engaged by other heavy ships.


If the DS battle had been fought the way Holland had originally intended and Hood did not blow up but was part of a victory over Lutjens I suspect that the reputation of Hood and battlecruisers in general would have been enhanced....


Quite probably, especially in the eyes of the public, although I think the RN might still have its reservations!

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VoidSamukai
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Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby VoidSamukai » Sun May 08, 2016 11:34 am

Well, at the very least they wouldn't get the bad undeserved rep they have right now. If the 3 BCs at Jutland didnt blow up, chances are the more navies would build more BCs after WT.

TCC

Re: Battlecruisers: Flawed or not?

Postby TCC » Tue May 30, 2017 2:35 am

Was the BC a flawed design?

It was an evolutionary dead end that the RN shouldn't have invented, as once the RN produced them, all other navies followed incrementally improvig each class as time went on, until it reached a plateau with designs of the fast battleship. And once distant navies had BCs in their oceans, Britain had to potentially cover the threat from these ships with many more unit than the solitary threat, such as happened with the German cruiser raiders in WW1 and incidents in WW2 such as Graf Spee.

I think the reputation of the BCs was destroyd by the volitility of the propellant and maybe handling process. Cambell said of German and british BCs that Seydlitz would have been lost had she been using RN cordite and the RN BCs would have lost turrets had they used German cordite.

As we are led to believe that Grant tightened up on Lions propelant handing, we must take it as fact that the regime below Lions turrets was as laid down in official Admiralty regulations, and thus that the events below Lions Q turret revealed that once a cordite charge was ignited in the path from magazine to breech, that the flame would transmit itself to all other charges in the official waiting and transfer places such as hoists and hoppers and thus flame would always reach the magazine and the door was always open during battle. This 'magazine door always open during battle' was the navies policy for BCs and BBs in the Forth or in Scapa Flow, thus if there was more battleship action during WW1, we may have seen their losses due to the same circumstances as what sank the BCs.

Can I correct something: Seydlitz had her full outfit of propelant for her 2x aft turrets go up at Dogger Bank, she wasn't saved by flooding, she didn't explode as the propelant wasn't as volitile and it burst into flame rather than explode. (if you follow)

Simon H from the Dreadnought project has a series of Admiralt letters exploring the cause of the ship loses after Jutland where the Chief Constructor, D'enycourt (sp?) noted that during Jutland no (surviving) RN ship had had it's protective deck pierced by a shell (and IIRC it was only Barham which had a few splinters pierce it)

As to how the BCs stood up to shellfire: Lion at Dogger Bank was hit 16 times by heavy shell for 1 death and 20-ish wounded, she lost power due to an unfortunate happenstance of damage from a splinter that cut a pipe that led to her fore capstan.


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