1921 firing trials against Baden

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marty1
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Postby marty1 » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:18 am

Meanwhile back at the Baden…

This is rather interesting, and probably apparent to José and Ulrich, but KDOS actually works through an example of vulnerability ranges of Bayern’s main side armor vs. British 15” APC.

KDOS puts Bayern’s 350mm KC Armor invulnerable at an estimated angle of impact of about 26-deg to 27-deg and a striking velocity of about 1530-fps to 1540-fps. This actually seems to correspond quite well with the Baden Trials of 15” APC vs. 350mm of WWI-era KC. Going back to page 1 of this thread I had used the Krupp Equation to predict a limit velocity of 15” APC vs. WWI Era KC armor of 25 to 30-deg at an impact velocity of ~1550-fps.

The only issue with the KDOS estimate lies in the velocity drop model the Germans had assumed for British 15” APC. Moreover the German velocity decay estimates have British 15” APC dropping at a rate that is much less than British estimates. So the German estimate of vulnerable range is much longer than the British Baden tests suggest, but the limit velocity and limit obliquity are basically identical between the KDOS estimate and the Baden Trials.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Ulrich for his excellent translation work on this document and for sharing his work with me.

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Velocity drop estimates

Postby Bill Jurens » Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:49 am

The German velocity drop estimates are probably lower than actual British experience because the Germans explicitly assumed that enemy projectiles etc. were geometrically similar -- and the armor penetration identical to -- their own latest models. (This isn't in Kdos100, but is in other documentation that I have here.) This suggests that the Germans were assuming that the British were using something more streamlined than the old 4 CRH. which the British range tables were computed for.

Bill Jurens.

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Anecdotes About The Baden Trials

Postby marty1 » Thu Mar 31, 2005 4:45 am

I was flipping through British Battleships of World War One. I found the following bit regarding the Baden Trials:

“With regard to the oft-quoted superior strength and quality of German Steel plates, it is interesting to note that when tests were carried out in the captured battleship Baden in 1919, only a slight difference was found between British and German steels; and when fired upon during the tests, her plates did not meet the strict standards required of British plates. Baden’s vitals were protected by Krupp armour, and it was very gratifying for the British to discover that the armour plates used in their later dreadnoughts were slightly superior to the Krupp process.”

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Ulrich Rudofsky
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Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:46 pm

Gary E. Weir "Building of the Kaiser's Navy", Naval Institute Press, 1992, states that by mid-1916, when the SMS BADEN was being built, there was already a shortage of nickel, copper and tin. That shortage was probably constantly present in Germany. One could imagine that the composition and quality of some of the steel was not always exactly as the specifications and tests stated. Perhaps the tighter controls imposed on steel production in WWII, as described in MDv 147-27, were not in force in WWI.

Did the British Royal Navy actually analyze the SMS BADEN's steel composition near areas of impact or did they rely on the specifications reported by the German Navy?

http://www.kbismarck.com/archives/mdv147-27.html
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Postby marty1 » Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:25 pm

Hi Ulrich:

I think Baden was laid down in 1913, launched in 1915, and commissioned in 1917.

I got the time line from:
http://german-navy.tripod.com/sms_bb_bayern.htm

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Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:03 pm

Your dates are right. But the main question concerns whether the British did a detailed chemical analysis of the BADEN's German steel at the time of the gunnery tests, to ascertain if this actually matched the specifications of the purported certified quality and composition.
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Postby marty1 » Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:40 pm

Hi Ulrich:

A copy of the Baden Firing Trials report that Jose has been discussing here was forwarded along to me a week or so back. It does not look like any metallurgical data is presented. However, it doesn’t look like the material forwarded to me represents the full-blown Admiralty Report.

I suppose its possible -- that is if any metallurgical analyses was conducted -- might be encompassed in a separate report and issued by whatever laboratory conducted the analyses. However, I am wondering how often metallurgical analyses was conducted on armor steel subjected to ballistic trials during this period? This sort of thing was done routinely during WWII, but was it routine in WWI or immediate post WWI?

Regarding my dates for the Baden's construction, my point is that not all of the armor steel used in either the Baden or Bayern would have been produced during a period of time when blockade had put a pinch on the availability of strategic alloys to German Steel producers. I would guess that orders for armor steel would have been placed months prior to the steel being delivered to shipyards.

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Postby Ulrich Rudofsky » Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:19 pm

I don't wish to divert this discussion too much more, but the history of the German armor steel industry at the time prior to WWI shows that there was a very great amount of turmoil between those omnipotent monopolies and the Imperial Navy. The “Reichsmarineamt” (Imperial Navy Office) had its hands full dealing with the domestic and international steel monopolies according to Weir (ref. above.) Serious problems of raw materials, quality control and allocation of armor steel started several years before the war and they were never resolved. I wonder if the Baden was really up to specs. This may be a trivial question, but I would think that the exact composition of the target is as important as the type of bullet hitting it.
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Postby marty1 » Mon Apr 04, 2005 1:43 am

I don’t think your comments are a diversion from the topic. Quite the contrary, I think your point is quite germane to this thread. I take your line of reasoning being related to the quality of plate on the Baden and whether the Baden's armor represents substandard material. Do the Baden Trials imply that this ships KC armor is failing at lower velocities and\or obliquities than what we would expect out of “normal” KC armor of this period?

What sort of limit conditions should we expect out of 15-inch APC vs. 13.75” of KC armor of this period? I think perhaps KDOS provides a possible clue here. Moreover the KDOS example I described above has the Germans estimating a limiting ballistic condition for British 15” APC vs. 13.75-inches of KC on the Bayern that is almost identical to the results of actual British 15” APC firing trials conducted against 13.75-inches of KC found on the Baden.

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Postby Dave Saxton » Mon Apr 04, 2005 3:50 pm

What may be going on here, is that British steel is not being given it's due credit. The British have always produced armour plates (particularly cemented armour) of outstanding quality. I recall reading discussions about how British face hardened plates out performed contempory American Class A examples by significant margins in early 20's trials. To say that an armour only almost matches the performance of a British face hardened plate of the same era, does not reflect badly. There are also questions as to when the British started using CA plates of WWII or close to WWII quality. There are some indications that may have been as earely as the late teens and early 20's. Face hardened armour of even the highest quality does not match the UTS and toughness of the better WWII and later homegenious armour materials.

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Postby marty1 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:44 am

Dave Saxton wrote:What may be going on here, is that British steel is not being given it's due credit. The British have always produced armour plates (particularly cemented armour) of outstanding quality. I recall reading discussions about how British face hardened plates out performed contempory American Class A examples by significant margins in early 20's trials. To say that an armour only almost matches the performance of a British face hardened plate of the same era, does not reflect badly. There are also questions as to when the British started using CA plates of WWII or close to WWII quality. There are some indications that may have been as earely as the late teens and early 20's. Face hardened armour of even the highest quality does not match the UTS and toughness of the better WWII and later homegenious armour materials.


Hi Dave:

Your post is of interest – as usual – but I guess I am missing the bridge between the quality of British cemented armor and German circa-WWI KC. Can you elaborate a bit more on what your driving at? Thnx.

The Baden Firing trials represent British 15” APC & CPC Shells vs. German circa-WWI KC armor. Specifically, I am referring to the limit case of 15” APC vs 13.75” of KC -- the limit case is about 1550-fps at about 25-30-degree obliquity.

The KDOS Bayern example represents a German estimation of how well British 15” APC shells will perform vs. 13.75” of German circa-WWI KC armor -- the limit case is about 1530-fps to 1540-fps at 26 to 27-deg.

The Bayern and Baden were sister ships.

My point is that the armor on the Baden and how it performed during the British firing trials is basically identical to the German's KDOS estimate of how circa WWI German KC armor will perform vs. 15” APC. All I'm saying is that I don't think there is evidence within the Baden trials of substandard performance of this ships KC armor.

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Postby marty1 » Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:17 am

I found the following metallurgical comparison between old and new German KC armor:

Element---------------KC (old)--------------------KC(new)
Carbon-------------------0.37%-----------------------0.34%
Nickel--------------------4.1%-------------------------3.78%
Mn------------------------0.3%-------------------------0.31%
Chromium---------------1.89%------------------------2.06%

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Re: Anecdotes About The Baden Trials

Postby Dave Saxton » Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:07 pm

Hi Marty, What I'm commenting on is the fact that the British late teens early 20's cemented armour was found slightly superior to WWI Krupp KC, and probably implies that the British plate was very good. This seems more likely to me than the Krupp KC was much sub-par. Given no possible shortages as Ulrich has shown, the two plates would have probably been equal. Going back to your original quote, it seems that they probably were.

marty1 wrote:I was flipping through British Battleships of World War One. I found the following bit regarding the Baden Trials:

“With regard to the oft-quoted superior strength and quality of German Steel plates, it is interesting to note that when tests were carried out in the captured battleship Baden in 1919, only a slight difference was found between British and German steels; and when fired upon during the tests, her plates did not meet the strict standards required of British plates. Baden’s vitals were protected by Krupp armour, and it was very gratifying for the British to discover that the armour plates used in their later dreadnoughts were slightly superior to the Krupp process.”


The KC new type composition listed gives no MO % or any micro alloys. Te new type had Mo and micro alloys with reduced C content for greater toughness of back layer. That's the primary difference I think. It's quite a different material from Wh or Ww. The Tirpitz KCnA tests varied slightly. They may have modified it slightly depending on it's use, such as it's thickness, and if it's for a barbett, or a belt, or face plate ...ect.. or it may have varied from batch to batch some.

One Tirpitz sample of KCnA (this may have been from the upper belt starboard side)
C-.25%
Si-.23%
Cr-2.00%
Ni- 3.80%
Mn-.25%
Mo-.22%
Cu-.10%
V-.03%

Another Tirpitz sample of KCnA.
C-.32%
Si-.35%
Cr-1.75%
Ni-3.55%
Mn-.42%
Mo-.12%
V and Cu not tested for.

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Postby marty1 » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:07 am

Hi Dave:

My bad ;) I had forgotten I even posted that quote regarding the contrast between British & German WWI Armor.

The same source had an interesting comment on the Baden’s fire control systems. This is fairly divergent from this discussion on the Baden firing trials, but is of interest.

“After Jutland, in May 1916, director control came under close examination. It was now fully realized that this was one of the most important departments of the fighting ship, and certain aspects of the systems then in use failed during the battle – the Barr and Stroud rangefinders had not given the required results because of poor lighting conditions during the action. It was generally known that the Germans had Zeiss stereoscopic rangefinders, and a different method of fire control; the former was slightly superior to that used on British ships, but the latter, according to intelligence reports, was inferior to British Equipment, and not up to the requirements laid down by the Admiralty. This was borne out in 1919 after tests had been carried out in the captured battleship Baden: although much of the equipment was sabotaged by the Germans, the fire control gear was examined and found to be relatively primitive.”

Regarding the lack of detail in the metallurgical contrast between old and new Krupp-C, unfortunately the source did not provide any additional details. See Ulrich's translation of:

"Marine Arsenal 6. The Armor of German Warships 1920–1945", by Siegfried Breyer

http://www.kbismarck.com/articles.html

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Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:41 am

Many compositions list only the most common elements. One analysis of KC I have seen, doesn't even mention the carbon. Most listings of HY don't mention the copper.

One of the samples taken from Tirpitz indicates yet another variation on the theme. This plate is somewhat of a mystery as to where it was located, and I speculate if was a non-cemented KC type plate.

C-.32%
Si-.35%
Mn-.24%
Cr-1.95%
Ni-2.75%
Mo-.50%
V-trace
Cu-trace

It looks as if this was dilberately done this way, as the nickel and Mn
are pulled back, and the Mo is tripled.

The Germans seemed to be manipulating the mechanical properties of Wh depending on application too. Looking at some data more carefully, it seems that the second Wh plates are 20-25 brinell harder than the first plates. The upper deck (judging from the thickness) plates, have a brinell of about 235. While samples that probably come from the main armoured deck plates had a brinell of 250-260. The Wh plates on the outer plates also have much less Ni content, than the Panzer deck plates that have Ni from 1-2%. This is a very similar practice to the British use of type1 with low Ni and type 2 with higher Ni, on their modern spaced arrays. The 30mm samples (splinter bulkhead probably) are much harder than the deck plates too, with a considerable increase in Mo content.


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