Turrets

Guns, torpedoes, mines, bombs, missiles, ammunition, fire control, radars, and electronic warfare.
paul.mercer
Senior Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Turrets

Post by paul.mercer » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:30 am

Gentlemen,
While not wanting to reopen the debate about the foibles of the 14” guns on the KGV’s I wonder why that compared with the tried and trusted twin 15” the triple and quad turrets gave so much trouble?
It has been reported else ware that the ‘Nelsons’ initially had problems with their triple turrets but were apparently sorted out and the French also had problems with their quad’s, so did all the other countries like Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA who all went for triple turrets experience the same problems with their guns and turrets?
As I am in no way technically minded I find it difficult to understand why increasing the size of the turret to accommodate an extra one or two guns should cause any trouble because presumably the basic structure of the gun whether it is 14 or 15 or 16” is the same as (again presumably) would be the breaches and loading mechanisms?
I do understand that no gun is perfect all the time and that even the twin 15” experienced problems occasionally, possibly due to the crew trying to load too quickly in the heat of a battle and having watched the loading sequence (taken on Vanguard I believe) for the film ‘Sink the Bismarck’ it must have been very tiring for the crew, particularly the man operating the ram so I suppose that would also eventually have an effect on their performance as well.

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 1038
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Turrets

Post by Byron Angel » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:58 am

Hi Paul,
I recommend that you obtain a copy of "The Big Gun - Battleship Main Armament 1860-1945" by Peter Hodges. Both the 16in triples of the Nelson Class and the 14in quad turrets of the KGV Class shared certain distinguishing characteristics.
[ 1 ] Both designs were prodigiously heavy ( 2x the weight of a 15in twin turret - KGV's quad turret alone = 1500t).
[ 2 ] Both featured were design to provide great elevation to their guns (comparatively speaking).
[ 3 ] Both were mounted in very weight restricted Treaty-based ships limited to 35,000t.
[ 4 ] Both designs featured highly complex anti-flash security systems involving scores (Nelson had 50+) of mechanical interlocks; the designers of Nelson started from a clean sheet of paper with zero prior experience in the design of such a complicated system; the design of the KGV was not undertaken until fifteen years later, which suggests (to me) that many of the Nelson design staff and leaders had likely retired or passed away.
[ 5 ] Weight saving was probably a very high priority in the design process, and it is possible that weight reduction measures taken in connection with design of the mechanical systems and linkages may have been pursued with too excessive zeal at the cost of reliability/durability.

I also suspect that the great weights of these turret + barbette structures, mounted as they were in tonnage-limited hulls, resulted in them falling victim to periodic misalignment problems due to structural flexure of the hull in a seaway.

Disclaimer notice - I am not a naval architect. Please therefore consider the above as the musings of a semi-informed amateur student of naval history.

B

paul.mercer
Senior Member
Posts: 810
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:25 pm

Re: Turrets

Post by paul.mercer » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:34 am

Byron Angel wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:58 am
Hi Paul,
I recommend that you obtain a copy of "The Big Gun - Battleship Main Armament 1860-1945" by Peter Hodges. Both the 16in triples of the Nelson Class and the 14in quad turrets of the KGV Class shared certain distinguishing characteristics.
[ 1 ] Both designs were prodigiously heavy ( 2x the weight of a 15in twin turret - KGV's quad turret alone = 1500t).
[ 2 ] Both featured were design to provide great elevation to their guns (comparatively speaking).
[ 3 ] Both were mounted in very weight restricted Treaty-based ships limited to 35,000t.
[ 4 ] Both designs featured highly complex anti-flash security systems involving scores (Nelson had 50+) of mechanical interlocks; the designers of Nelson started from a clean sheet of paper with zero prior experience in the design of such a complicated system; the design of the KGV was not undertaken until fifteen years later, which suggests (to me) that many of the Nelson design staff and leaders had likely retired or passed away.
[ 5 ] Weight saving was probably a very high priority in the design process, and it is possible that weight reduction measures taken in connection with design of the mechanical systems and linkages may have been pursued with too excessive zeal at the cost of reliability/durability.

I also suspect that the great weights of these turret + barbette structures, mounted as they were in tonnage-limited hulls, resulted in them falling victim to periodic misalignment problems due to structural flexure of the hull in a seaway.

Disclaimer notice - I am not a naval architect. Please therefore consider the above as the musings of a semi-informed amateur student of naval history.

B
Hi Byron,
Many thanks for your reply, I think I have that book somewhere, I'll dig it out and read it again, I also think i have got a book called 'Battleship Design and Development' hidden away in my bookcase, so I'll have a look at that as well.
Thanks again,
Paul

Byron Angel
Senior Member
Posts: 1038
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 1:06 am

Re: Turrets

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:50 am

'Battleship Design and Development' - still one of Friedman's more interesting books, even after all these years!

B

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