Gunnery Accuracy

Guns, torpedoes, mines, bombs, missiles, ammunition, fire control, radars, and electronic warfare.
marty1
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Gunnery Accuracy

Post by marty1 » Sun May 29, 2005 4:36 pm

Good morning.

I have been reading “Castles of Steel” by Robert Massie. One of the comments he makes in his chapters on the Battle of the Falklands regards accuracy of naval gunnery of the period. The resultant accuracy of fire from the Invincible and Inflexible on the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau worked out to be something like 5% hits. Several hundred rounds were expended by Invincible and Inflexible. The seas were apparently quite calm –very little wind.

I wonder if others here have come across similar statistics for what sort of hit rates occurred in various naval gunnery actions. Anything similar would be of interest. I am interested in the time frame spanning between say the Spanish-American War, Russo-Japanese War, WWI & WWII. For example: What was the level of ammunition expenditure by Bismarck at the Battle of Denmark Strait – how many hits were inflicted upon Hood and Prince of Whales.

Thanks for any comments.

George Gerolimatos
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Gunnery accuracy

Post by George Gerolimatos » Sun May 29, 2005 5:54 pm

Hello Marty1:
How are you enjoying Massie's book? I got it by chance, and I was astounded how good it was: I love Massie's style, and his coverage of WWI naval battles is balanced and sure.

During the Battle of Denmark Strait, Bismarck expended only 93 rounds of 38cm ammunition and an unknown number of 15cm. Prinz Eugen fired 178 rounds of 20,3 cm. I am sure there are people out there who know how many rounds the British ships fired and the hit ratios for both sides.

There were other actions that were unusual, such as Warspite's hit on Giulio Cesare at the "prodigious range of 13 miles" (Cunningham's words) and the Scharnhorst/Gneisenau squadron's against the British aircraft carrier Glorious in June 1940. The latter ship was hit from about 26,000 yds. These two cases should not obscure the fact that little had changed since WWI in terms of long-range gunnery: long-range actions were generally wasetful of ammunition. A case in point may be found from the Pacific: the Battle of Komandorski Islands, March 26, 1943. Over a four hour battle, at ranges between 20,000 and 26,000 yds., a decidedly superior force of Japanese heavy cruisers elected to play it safe from long range. The heavy cruisers Nachi and Maya concentrated their fire against the Salt Lake City. The latter hit the bridge of the Nachi, but Salt Lake City herself was hit four times, twice from Maya, once from Nachi, and once from another light cruiser. The American force was clearly outmatched, but the Japanese admiral's cautious handling of his ships meant that the American force got away without losing any ships. So dissatisfied was the Japanese High Command with Admiral Hosogaya's conduct that he was "retired" after the battle.
George G.

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Re: Gunnery accuracy

Post by Tiornu » Sun May 29, 2005 6:37 pm

All four hits and the damaging near miss on Salt Lake City came from 8in shells.

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José M. Rico
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Post by José M. Rico » Sun May 29, 2005 10:55 pm

Battle of Santiago de Cuba, 1898.

US Warships:

Shells fired (over calibre 57)
Brooklyn - 573
Iowa - 317
Oregon - 198
Indiana - 107
Texas - 105
Total: 1,300

Hits obtained
On Oquendo - 62
On Teresa - 29
On Vizcaya - 24
On Colón - 8
On Destroyers –25

Hit rate: 1.6%

Spanish Warships:

Shells fired (over calibre 57)
Teresa - 30
Oquendo - 30
Vizcaya - 160
Colón – 310
Total: 530

Hits obtained
On Brooklyn - 41
On Iowa - 16
On Oregon - 3
On Texas – 2
On Indiana – 2
On New York - 0

Hit rate: 4%

Source:
Historia Marítima Española
Teniente de Navío Francisco Javier Oubiña
Publicación 297
Escuela Naval Militar
Marin

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José M. Rico
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Post by José M. Rico » Sun May 29, 2005 11:02 pm

The Bismarck fired 93 x 38cm shells in the Denmark Strait scoring 4 hits on the Prince of Wales and at least 1 on the Hood.
The Prinz Eugen scored a similar number of hits (3 hits on POW and at least 1 on Hood) but fired 179 x 20.3cm shells.
The Prince of Wales fired 18 salvos with the fore turrets and 3 more with "Y" turret. That makes a total of 103 shells since "A" turret's no. 1 gun broke down and fired only 1 shell. 103 shells fired and 3 hits scored on Bismarck.
The Hood obtained no hits on the Prinz Eugen.

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Accuracy

Post by Bill Jurens » Mon May 30, 2005 2:04 pm

You may want to try my paper on the Loss of Hood, which gives some equations etc. on gunnery accuracy with particular reference to Denmark Strait, or my other paper on the Evolution of Battleship Gunnery in the USN, which gives a great deal of detail on inter-war shooting by the Americans.

Bill Jurens

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Re: Gunnery accuracy

Post by marty1 » Tue May 31, 2005 3:59 pm

George Gerolimatos wrote:Hello Marty1:
How are you enjoying Massie's book? I got it by chance, and I was astounded how good it was: I love Massie's style, and his coverage of WWI naval battles is balanced and sure.
Morning George:

I am really enjoying the book. I actually like it more than "Dreadnought". Massie has a knack for adding a touch of the soap opra to his work in the way he interweaves the major personalities of the period (Churchill, Beatty, Fisher, Jellicoe, etc) along with the various naval engagments of the period.

Hi Jose:

Thanks very much for sharing the Spanish-American War data. Very informative as usual.

Good Morning Bill:

I read thru your articles on the Hood. Very interesting. Regarding the probability of hit formula you presented in Part IV --

Ph = 10(E-TX)
Where:
Ph = Percentage of hits
K = Percentage of hits at maximum range of gun
E = 2.00
T = 0.02 - (0.01 Log K)
X = Percentage of the maximum range of gun

What is the reference on this equation? Or is the equation based upon your own data regression?

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